Raise awareness or concerns for a rough sleeper…
To report a concern or sighting of a rough sleeper please click this link www.streetlink.org.uk it will take you to a very short form which is then sent directly to Arun District Council’s homelessness Outreach worker.
We have produced an A to Z of Arun Homeless services.pdf [pdf] 503KB for people in our local area.
Arun District Council currently employs a homelessness outreach worker who works closely with various different partners to assist with supporting homeless individuals in the area. You can read about a day in their life below.
A Day in the Life of …A Homelessness Outreach Worker
How does your role at Arun District Council support the rough sleepers’ community across the district?
By offering them information, advice and guidance - helping them to connect with local services that can assess them, primarily, for their housing and health needs. This is just the starting point to getting their life back to a more positive position. Building a trusting, yet professional, relationship with individuals and encouraging them to access services or attend appointments with me and other professionals. Our service is not compulsory and though frustrating, people don’t always want to accept our support, everyone has that choice. The reasons why people become homeless are often extremely complex, requiring much more support than just a roof over their heads.
How do you know where to find rough sleepers?
Through; regular outreach across the district, word of mouth, front-line colleagues, via our partner agencies including the police and business wardens and information received via ‘Streetlink’. ‘StreetLink’ is an on-line tool where members of the public can report someone sleeping rough. If you are concerned about someone, over the age of 18, sleeping rough in England or Wales, you can use this website to send an alert to StreetLink. The details you provide are sent to the local authority or nearest outreach service for the area. If you think the person you are concerned about is under the age of 18 please contact the police.
The link for submitting a StreetLink referral is: https://streetlink.force.com/ or Google: Streetlink.
How do rough sleepers find out about you?
Many people who’ve been supported by our service will then recommend us to others on the street. Frontline colleagues, contractors, local voluntary organisations and some engaged residents will pass my info on and I also spend time with other local organisations including: Turning Tides and Stonepillow for regular Homelessness Advice sessions - these are drop-ins where rough sleepers can see me for advice, support and signposting to the most relevant local services/organisations.
What does Arun District Council actually provide?
We work holistically, looking at all aspects of a person’s circumstances, which often more complex than purely needing somewhere to live. For many their problems can make it difficult for them to obtain and then sustain a new tenancy. Part of my role can go beyond just helping a person get a roof over their head, it may mean working intensively with them to ensure they’re equipped with all the right tools and support available to them.
The council work closely with a wide range of partners including; physical and mental health services, drug and alcohol treatment services, probation, domestic abuse support and refuges, police, adult social care, homeless charities and community organisations, hostel managers, private landlords and letting agencies. Making direct referrals and/or signposting to other support services/providers and assist with general advice including; private renting information. Where necessary I’ll attend appointments with clients and assist them with the paperwork and forms.
What does a typical day in your role look like?
Every day is different, what the general public don’t see is the amount of hard work that goes on behind the scenes; from early morning to late evening walkabout welfare checks to completing forms to enter a recovery programme. Communicating with internal teams and external partners to resolve issues relating to public concerns about rough sleepers or sleep sites. Responding or reacting to client crisis situations. Joint working with other agencies across the district. Educating members of the public in the complexities of the rough sleeping issues. Outreach sessions; often as a result of a StreetLink referral or other intelligence received relating to a rough sleeper who is new to the area. Attending partner run rough sleeper hubs - providing advice or attending appointments with more vulnerable individuals. Leading a team to resolve the more complex cases and ensure all steps have been taken to reach the safest and most suitable resolution for all. Ensuring that the public’s welfare and safety are considered when dealing with any complex issue that may arise.
Why do rough sleepers congregate in Arun?
Within Arun the high streets are more compact compared to neighbouring districts such as Worthing or Portsmouth. This raises the visibility of rough sleepers and can magnify the impact on an area as it’s in such a public space. Being homeless can be a very dangerous due to intolerance, prejudice and stereotyping. Town centres are often a safer place to be for a rough sleeper - they are well lit, have CCTV, it’s often warmer and there are recessed doorways which give protection from the weather. Arun is also home to respected homelessness charities and support services. Also, and something that shouldn’t be forgotten, there are people to talk to.
What can the public do to help a homeless person?
- Complete a StreetLink referral online at www.streetlink.org.uk
- Volunteer with one of the local homelessness charities or community organisations
- Donate food to your local foodbank
- Donate warm clothes to the local homelessness charity and community outlets
- If you want to give money – donate to a local homelessness charity or voluntary group rather than to individuals.
To see some of the organisations we work with please see the “Street Sheet” A-Z of Arun Homeless Services produced with Grandads Front Room, on our website .