What to do if you're concerned about a rough sleeper

What to do if you're concerned about a rough sleeper

As the nights draw in and temperatures start to drop, most of us get to go back home, snuggle down and warm up. Some of us, however, don't get this luxury.

The number of rough sleepers on the streets seems to have increased over the past few years. It's natural to want to help either by buying them food or giving them money.

We've asked Hollie Walsh, Service Manager at Petrus Community, on what we should if we are concerned about a rough sleeper.

"The best thing you can do to help a rough sleeper is to refer them to a support service. Wherever you are in the country, there will be a phone number you can call.

"We want to encourage rough sleepers to use services like Petrus, where they can get a meal, change their clothes and get advice and support from trained members of staff".

When you are referring a rough sleeper to a support service, try to give them as much information as possible including their location and what they look like.

Who do I contact?

If you are in the borough of Rochdale or in Oldham, call Petrus on 01706 526289.

You can also contact Streetlink who can help to connect you to a local service that can support rough sleepers. You can use the Streetlink website (www.streetlink.org.uk) to send an alert to a local authority or outreach service.

Other ways to help

If you want to do more to help you can donate to homelessness charities. Hollie says: "Any support is always greatly appreciated. Most homelessness charity websites offer the ability to donate online or ask them what items they need.

"Most homelessness charities always need toiletries such as soap, shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpastes, or warm items such as sleeping bags, socks, hats and gloves".

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