It’s cold outside. Here are some tips for helping people who are sleeping rough in Leicestershire and Rutland during the winter months:

1. Stop and talk

Not all people who are rough sleeping require money. Many of our Emmaus companions (people who’ve experienced homelessness who we support) remember their experiences when living on the streets as being incredibly lonely, with people walking past and avoiding eye-contact, especially in cold weather. Starting a simple conversation is always the best way to find out how you might be able to help. Loneliness is a big problem. Ask if there is anything they need.

2. Warm clothing

If you have any spare warm clothing or sleeping bags, consider offering it to those sleeping rough. In the bitter cold, hats, gloves and thick, waterproof clothing can make a big difference.

3. Hot drinks and food

It’s not an exaggeration to say that sometimes a hot drink can make a huge difference to someone’s day. Keeping warm is extremely important in freezing temperatures so the gift of a large cup of tea or coffee is something many will welcome.

4.  Alert Streetlink

Give as much detail about the individual’s location as you can. Visit or download the Streetlink app. If a person is in immediate danger call 999.

5. Support your local homelessness charity

Often specialist support is the best way to help someone sleeping rough. By donating to your local homelessness charity, you can ensure that they are able to reach out to as many people as possible. You can help by donating your unwanted items to Emmaus Leicestershire & Rutland – we’re happy to accept most quality clothing and household items. The items are then sold in our charity shop to raise funds to help us continue to change the lives of people who have experienced homelessness in your area. If possible, we ask that you drop-off your donated items or arrange a free collection for larger items.

Thank you for caring