Do you know how you can help people who are sleeping rough on North East Lincolnshire’s streets? While buying someone a sandwich and a hot drink are good, ever wondered how to really help them now that weather is getting cold?
StreetLink is one of the answers. It is an app that people are being urged to use right across the country – and those working with people who are sleeping rough locally are echoing that.
Latest figures from North East Lincolnshire Council record 14 people sleeping on the borough’s streets – however it is understood that the actual number is much higher.
“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.
Once downloaded, StreetLink offers an easy way for the public to let the council know about people who are rough sleeping. it is suggested that making a report is better towards the evening, when people are bedding down and less likely to move from their spot for a period of time, this makes it easier for the outreach team to find them.
StreetLink will ask for as much information as possible – names, clothing, hair colour, and location – the more information, the easier it is to find and help the individual.
You do not necessarily need to approach a rough sleeper if you do not feel comfortable doing so, but reporting where you have seen them and any identifying details, can make all the difference in getting that person the help they need, especially now it is getting colder.
The council’s 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 powers to move on a rough sleeper, reporting any suspected rough sleepers via StreetLink enables them to give them the appropriate support and help they need.
Within 14 days, if you request it, you will receive a report from StreetLink detailing what help the individual received.
The North East Lincolnshire Council 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 find themselves in a really difficult situation, or even lose their homes,” added Cllr Shepherd.
If you need support, please contact the homeless prevention team on 01472 326296 option 1.
The StreetLink app can be downloaded by visiting your usual app store, or to find more information visit StreetLink – Connecting people sleeping rough to local services (thestreetlink.org.uk)