Council backs national homelessness campaign
The council is backing No Second Night Out, a Government initiative that aims to make sure that no-one new to the street has to spend more than one night sleeping rough.
People who see a homeless person should call the Street Link hotline on 0300 500 0914 and an advisor will make sure that their details are passed on to organsations that can provide support to the homeless person.
The campaign launches today (Tuesday) with a poster campaign telling the public of the new freephone number to call if they witness rough sleeping. Rough sleepers can also call the same number to identify themselves and be put in touch with someone who can help.
City street rangers will also be given contact cards so they always have the Street Link number at hand to report any evidence of rough sleeping they come across.
Newcastle has a great track record on tackling rough sleepers, with numbers in Newcastle the lowest of all similar sized cities and a widely praised approach to intervention. It also works closely with charitable organisations, like the Cyrenians, to make sure that there is adequate hostel accommodation.
Cllr Michael Burke, Newcastle City Council deputy cabinet member for housing, said: "Thankfully in Newcastle we don't have a big problem with lots of rough sleepers, but that doesn't mean people should not be vigilant and report anyone they see sleeping on the streets this Christmas. If people are sleeping rough, we need to know about them and our partners can offer the appropriate support, finding them not just a bed for the night, but some practical first steps towards a longer-term sustainable home and a better life."
For more information contact Will Mapplebeck in the Newcastle City Council press office on 0191 211 5099.