Here are five ways you can help when you see someone sleeping rough this winter.
If anyone is in immediate danger, always call 999. If the person appears to be under 18, you should contact the police.
In England and Wales one of the best ways to alert an outreach service to a person rough sleeping is by contacting StreetLink. When you contact the service by phone or online, it will ask you for details about the individual’s location, what time of date you saw or interacted with this person and what they look like to provide a guide for the support team.
Make a note of these details then alert www.streetlink.org.uk or call 0300 500 0914.
People who have experienced rough sleeping and are now supported by Emmaus Burnley say homelessness is a very isolating experience. People often walk past people rough sleeping and avoid eye-contact, especially in cold temperatures. Giving people your time by speaking with someone. It can mean a lot when you are feeling alone.
In colder weather, warm gloves, a woolly hat, and thick waterproof clothing can provide some relief for people who are out on the streets. Donations of warm clothing, a coat, blankets or a sleeping bag can help a great deal.
Giving someone a hot drink of tea, coffee or chocolate could make a huge different by providing warmth on a cold day. If you would like to give food, speak to the person to find out what they may want or need.
By helping a homelessness charity, you are helping people off the streets and into support and accommodation. Emmaus Burnley works across Lancashire, helping people who have been homeless or at risk of homelessness since 2011. We offer a home, food, support, meaningful work and training opportunities. Find out about Emmaus Burnley here.
Ways you can help Emmaus:
• Give money: your donation will help us continue our important work, helping people to rebuild their lives after homelessness.