Rough sleepers in Basildon are being offered help in getting a roof over their heads thanks to a partnership between the council and a leading homelessness charity.
As part of its commitment to prevent homelessness and rough sleeping, Basildon Council is working in partnership with homelessness charity, St Mungos, to deliver an outreach service to rough sleepers. The service, which is part-funded by the council, works by providing rough sleepers with essential services and supporting them into safe, secure and affordable accommodation.
Members of the public who see people sleeping on the streets and want to be able to help but don’t know what to do can now refer rough sleepers through the StreetLink service. By going to the StreetLink website or using the App you can now make referrals which experienced outreach workers follow up on their shifts. Shifts are undertaken either early in the morning or late at night and are focussed around known rough sleeping hotspots.
Cllr Anthony Hedley, Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety, said: “It is essential we continue to work with partner organisations and embrace innovative new ways of connecting with people as we strive towards tackling homelessness in the borough.
“It’s important we help people who sleep rough to get a roof over their heads and the support they need. I think it’s wonderful that SteetLink is making it so easy for the public to provide vital intelligence that could help a rough sleeper get the help and support they need.”
Petra Salva, St Mungo’s Director of Street Outreach Services, added: “The starting point for our work is that rough sleeping is harmful and dangerous, and that no one should have to sleep rough in this day and age. We work with people to find out why they became homeless and to connect them with services to get them back on track, as needed, into housing, into health services and into work opportunities.”
If members of the public are concerned about anyone sleeping rough, they can contact the national 24 hour rough sleeping referral line StreetLink on 0300 500 0914 or online at www.streetlink.org.uk.