How To Help Rough Sleepers
Homelessness is an emergency whatever the conditions but due to the Coronavirus Outbreak, people are in even greater danger.
Being able to wash your hands throughout the day and using hand sanitiser are the health guidelines many of us have been advised of, but when you are homeless it is not that simple.
More than one homeless person dies every day in the UK*, and rough sleeping means people are more likely to die young, with an average age of death for men at 47, and for women at 42.*2
Given these statistics and the underlying health issues that many of those who we support have, homeless people could be amongst the first to die as a result of the Coronavirus.
Whether you're looking to donate your time or make a financial gift, there are a number of ways you can make a difference to homeless people during this crisis.
1. Connect rough sleepers with local services
If you are in England or Wales, download the Street Link app. StreetLink exists to help end rough sleeping by enabling members of the public to connect people sleeping rough with the local services that can support them.
The information you give includes where you saw the person, including a street name and the nearest door number, and the time of day you saw them. As much information as possible is useful, so things like a physical description, and any particular concerns you might have that services should know about can go a long way.
You can also fill the Street Link online form or call the 24-hour hotline on 0300 500 0914.
2. Make a donation
Your donations are essential in making an immediate difference to rough sleepers. Our priority is to make sure that our Alabaré Homes and Drop In Centres are open and ready to help, not just now, but for the foreseeable future. We have a fantastic team in place – tonight they will provide rough sleepers with a warm meal, get clean and dry clothes and provide a safe and warm bed for the night. Not only this but we will offer advice and start the process of finding permanent support and accommodation.
Please donate £20 today. Your donation can welcome a rough sleeper off the streets, and will help provide them with clean clothing, a hot meal, a bed for the night as well as support in finding long term accommodation.
3. Spread the word
Raising awareness about local support available to rough sleepers can be lifesaving. Alabaré run a range of services in Salisbury, Trowbridge and Chippenham for rough sleepers including Drop In Centres, emergency shelter and supported accommodation. Spread the word by sharing this website page with your friends and family.
4. Start a conversation
If you come across a rough sleeper please take the time to stop and talk to them, rough sleeping can be a lonely and scary experience.
Volunteers are an integral part of Alabaré. Seven days a week, 365 days a year they play a crucial role in helping our clients recover from homelessness. We are looking for people with a range of skills who can commit to helping us end homelessness and rebuild lives.
Visit our volunteer page or get in touch by calling 01722 322882 (lines open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday).
6. In case of an emergency dial 999
If you think a rough sleeper is in any immediate danger, please call 999.
*1 Estimated figure Office of National Statistics October 2019
*2 Office of National Statistics 2017