Supporting rough sleepers at Christmas
With Christmas nearly here, Worcester City Council is asking city residents to let them know if they spot anyone sleeping rough on the city's streets.Anyone who does spot a rough sleeper is urged to tell the Streetlink service at www.streetlink.org.uk or by calling 0300 500 0914. Streetlink help by passing through the details to the Council or to an outreach service that will find the individual and contact them to offer support. They will also check to see if they are already getting help.
The City Council has been working with charities and health organisations to help rough sleepers and those at risk of homelessness during the Covid-19 pandemic. So far this year the Council has helped 98 people to find emergency accommodation, with 42 of them having now moved on to a settled home.
Across Worcestershire, local councils have worked together to help more than 150 people, but a few people have chosen not to take the assistance offered. Local authority teams and outreach services are continuing to work with these people to keep them safe.
Many of those who turned to the Council for help have been able to find long-term housing solutions. This has included securing homes in the private rented sector and working with local housing associations to provide housing and support.
Councillor James Stanley, Chair of the City Council's Communities Committee, said: "We are doing all we can to provide rough sleepers and those at risk of homelessness with accommodation and to offer them shelter, but despite all the services available you may sometimes still see people on the street. We are asking people to let us know if they see rough sleepers by contacting Streetlink online www.streetlink.org.uk or by calling 0300 500 0914."
Arrangements are also in place in Worcester to open an emergency night shelter for anyone sleeping on the streets if temperatures reach freezing over the winter months.
Worcester residents can support homeless people by making donations to the registered charity partners that work with the City Council to help and support rough sleepers: