Have you ever seen a rough sleeper on North East Lincolnshire’s streets, and wondered how to report it? Ever wondered what happens to that rough sleeper?
StreetLink is the answer. It is an initiative that people are being urged to use right across the country – and those working with rough sleepers locally are echoing that.
Latest figures from North East Lincolnshire Council record 10 people sleeping on the borough’s streets – however it is understood the actual number is higher.
“Whilst, compared to other larger cities across the country, we do not have the same level of rough sleeper issues as elsewhere, it is clear there are people bedding down on our streets. There is often a temptation to give these people money to help – but logging onto this app and registering what you have seen is a far better way of helping them,” said North East Lincolnshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Safer and Stronger Communities, Cllr Ron Shepherd.
Reports logged on the StreetLink app go straight through to the local homeless outreach team, who will offer direct support and make the necessary arrangements to help the person.
Once downloaded, StreetLink asks for details about the rough sleepers on the borough’s streets, making it easier for the outreach team to find them. It also asks for as much detail as possible – names, clothing, hair colour and location – again the more information about the individual, the easier it is for the outreach team to find and help them.
Our Rough Sleeper Coordinator will receive the reports made on StreetLink directly, who will then work with places such as Harbour Place, to make sure the appropriate support is given to those who need it. While the council and Harbour Place have no legal/statutory powers to move on a rough sleeper, reporting any suspected rough sleepers via StreetLink, enables the council and Harbour Place to give them the appropriate support and help they need.
You do not need to approach the Rough Sleeper just to report where you’ve seen them and some identifying details so they can get help.
The council works very closely with Harbour Place. Once they have received a report, the charity’s outreach teams are able to give rough sleepers the support they need.
A Harbour Place spokesperson said: “StreetLink is such an easy way for the public to help us to help those who might find themselves sleeping rough in our area.
“We’re encouraging people to download and use it. Once our team know where someone is, we can give them the support that they need.”
Within 14 days, if you request it, you will receive a report from StreetLink detailing what help the individual received.
The NELC homeless prevention service offers a wide range of help and support for people and encourages those in need to make contact before they become homeless. The service includes help with food parcels, finances, health, education, and housing.
“The council’s team is here to help and support, but officers can only do that if people in need make contact and ideally before it is too late and they have lost their homes, or find themselves in a really difficult situation,” added Cllr Shepherd.
If you need support, please contact the homeless prevention team on 01472 326296 option 1 or visit our website for more information. I am homeless | NELC (nelincs.gov.uk)
People can download the StreetLink App to help others by visiting their usual app store or find more information at streetlink.org.uk