Homeless Link and Broadway today launched a hotline and website that it hopes the public will use to report rough sleepers to local homelessness services across England.
StreetLink is the expansion of the No Second Night Out (NSNO) initiative which began in London in 2011, and was run by Homeless Link. Its rollout has been funded by a Department for Communities and Local Government grant of £250,000 and a consortium of 500 homelessness charities will be involved in supporting rough sleepers identified through the scheme.
The programme encourages members of the public to phone or use the online form to inform Streetlink when they see a homeless person on the street. Streetlink then passes the information to the relevant local council, which will then notify local homelessness services. StreetLink will also follow up the council within ten days to find out what happened, and pass this information on to the member of the public who notified them, if they ask to be kept informed.
During the first six months of NSNO in London 2,000 calls were made to the helpline and 415 rough sleepers were helped.
Rick Henderson, chief executive of Homeless Link, said: “The public really want to help people they see sleeping rough but there is a lot of confusion about what to do. StreetLink makes it easy to take the first step to helping a rough sleeper off the streets.”
The phone number is 0300 500 0914 and the website is www.streetlink.org.uk.