Advice for rough sleepers

If you are sleeping rough or have seen someone else sleeping rough, you can make a referral via Street Link to the Rough Sleeper Outreach Team. An outreach worker will meet you and try and support you to access emergency housing and the help you need.

The rough sleeper outreach team is a multi-agency team of people from:

  • Peabody
  • Southend Treatment and Recovery Services (STARS)
  • Homeless Action Resource Project (HARP)

The team are commissioned by the Council using a government grant and have a full understanding of how to access various housing and support services locally. You can also approach them directly to ask for help. They wear navy tops with white writing which says;Southend Rough Sleeper Outreach.

If you are rough sleeping or you are in a hostel/night shelter in Southend after recently sleeping rough you are asked to ring the council on 01702 215002 to ask for help.

If you do not have a phone with credit on it, you can call us for free using the telephones found on the ground floor of the Civic Centre, Victoria Avenue.

The Housing Solutions team will undertake a detailed assessment of your situation and you will be given a Personal Housing Plan. This will confirm the steps you need to take in order to obtain suitable, affordable housing. You will also be provided with advice on how to access emergency night shelter housing.

If you have no/low support needs, you will be offered support to secure housing, such as:

  • assistance with funds to secure private housing via the Rent and Deposit Scheme
  • applying for social housing through the Homeseekers Register

If you have medium or high support needs, you will be referred to Access Point for supported accommodation.

Clients will also be referred to support agencies to meet other needs identified e.g. health services or tenancy sustainment support.

If you do not have a local connection to Southend-on-Sea, you may be referred to another council where you do have a local connection, either through:

  • having lived there
  • working there
  • having family there

Make a Change

This is a joint campaign aimed at helping people to live a life off the street, not on it.

It is a partnership between the council, Southend BID, Essex Police, Streetlink and local homelessness charities and is just one part of an action plan for the High Street following a summit. It was launched as Southend-on-Sea faces an increase in rough sleepers in the town and also aggressive begging which is causing issues for local shoppers and businesses.

The campaign has two key aims:

  • to encourage people to consider donating to local homelessness charities instead of giving change to street beggars
  • to encourage people to alert Streetlink to any rough sleepers - this sends a message to the council who will send outreach staff to talk with them

The Make a Change website contains myth-busting information about rough-sleeping and begging.

Contact us - Housing solutions

Telephone: 01702 215002

Useful websites - homelessness

Online forms - housing advice and homeless enquiry form

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