What to do if you see someone sleeping rough

What to do if you see someone sleeping rough

We are committed to ending rough sleeping in the city and ensuring that there is a proactive approach to supporting those who sleep rough off the street.

Our aim is to ensure that no one in Newcastle needs to be homeless and that the prevention of homelessness is “everyone’s business”.

We fund a daily outreach service and 764  supported rooms for people at risk of homelessness. However, rough sleeping is a complex issue and in Newcastle people do not usually sleep rough just because of a lack of accommodation.

For many people sleeping rough it is often linked to underlying health and welfare issues.

If you believe that you might be homeless or have to sleep rough

If you are in Newcastle and are worried that you have nowhere safe to stay you should contact the Housing Advice Centre or Emergency Homeless Service as soon as possible, see below for contact arrangements. The Housing Advice Centre will assess your situation and give you free confidential advice with the aim of preventing or relieving your homelessness.

Contact the Housing Advice Centre

The Housing Advice Centre is not open for face-to-face advice until further notice.  Please don’t attend the Housing Advice Centre in person as the building will be closed. Instead, please:

  • phone: 0800 1707 008 (Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 12 noon and 1pm to 4.30pm)
  • email: housingadvicecentre@newcastle.gov.uk  (Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 12 noon and 1pm to 4.30pm)

We appreciate that this is a difficult time and that you will be concerned. Please be reassured that we will do our best to respond to your query as soon as we can. However, please bear with us at this time while we are experiencing additional pressures and there is some disruption to our service.

Out of hours

Outside of the hours above you can contact the emergency homelessness service (EHS) for help.

To do this phone 0800 1707 008 (press option 2 for the operator and ask for the emergency homeless service).

The EHS is available: 

  • Monday to Friday, 5.30pm to 8am
  • Saturday and Sunday, 8am to 8am (24 hours)

In most cases, they will need to speak directly to the person affected to assess the circumstances and discuss the options available.

What we do

We fund a daily rough sleeping outreach team and rough sleeping coordinator who, whenever they find someone sleeping rough, will encourage them to take up offers of accommodation or reconnect to their area of origin. If you want to alert the outreach to someone sleeping rough you can email roughsleeping@newcastle.gov.uk, this not an emergency response and if you have genuine concerns about the immediate health or welfare of someone you should contact the emergency services 

The outreach team also engage with people who are begging in the city and seek to find out if they need accommodation or support from other services. 

The Council commissions a range of accommodation and support for people at risk of homelessness including those with complex needs and access to this accommodation is never dependent on someone having the funding upfront to pay for it and support services will work with those who have previously slept rough to help them access the benefits they may be entitled to.  Hostels do charge residents for personal costs, for example for food and utility costs that are not covered by housing benefit. People aren’t asked for this money in advance and all the hostels are flexible and will work out a budgeting plan which enables people to pay.

During the Covid-19 pandemic

We have taken a public health focused approach throughout the coronavirus pandemic and are working to offer everyone at risk of homelessness a safe place to stay.  

Remember COVID-19 hasn't gone away and while cases remain high everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious. 

For more information please see:

Severe weather emergency protocol (SWEP) 

Our severe weather emergency protocol (SWEP) is how we protect rough sleepers when the temperature is forecast to be particularly extreme.

SWEP includes an offer of a safe place to stay for people sleeping rough, and is an extension of Newcastle's year-round routine response.

Is the SWEP active?

Due to current temperatures SWEP is not currently in place but we will continue to monitor and should this change all partners will be informed  

Did you know?

Remember if you want to let us know about someone sleeping rough you can contact us at  roughsleeping@newcastle.gov.uk  

 

 

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