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How we support rough sleepers

Our outreach team works with local partners and charities to do all we can to help the street population (those who may use our streets to drink, beg, sleep rough or sell sex) get off the streets and get their lives back on track.

The people on our streets often have a lot of problems, so our outreach team works with them to tackle issues like substance misuse, mental health and homelessness. We also work with the police to tackle anti-social behaviour, such as aggressive begging.

Street begging and rough sleeping

Most people who beg on the streets are not homeless and have access to support, however there are some people who are sleeping on the streets and are very vulnerable - those people need our help.

What do we do?

We work with a range of partners, from community groups to local homeless charities, to help these people. Anyone who is regularly on the street in Islington will have been approached by one of our services, had an initial assessment and been offered support.

Our support includes:

  • Outreach services: Islington’s outreach teams work with local vulnerable people to find out what made them homeless and on the streets and how we can help them to address it. For example, this could be due to mental health problems such as depression or drug addiction.
  • Specialist services: to work with drinkers or people who are recovering from their drug addictions.
  • Drop-in facilities, shelters and supported accommodation: we work with organisations to help people to maintain accommodation.
  • Islington’s Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) sets out what we and partners do in freezing weather to ensure all rough sleepers have access to accommodation, to prevent anyone dying on the streets. You can find the full plan below. If it is going to reach 0 degrees C or below, SWEP is activated, and specially trained staff from the council and partner organisations work quickly to ensure all rough sleepers in Islington, whatever their circumstances, are provided with emergency accommodation. We also encourage rough sleepers to engage with other services.

If you are concerned about the well being of someone who is sleeping rough on the streets, call Street link on: 0300 500 0914 or visit Streetlink.

If you are homeless or worried about becoming homeless contact the council’s Housing Aid Centre on 020 7527 2000.

Have you seen someone begging, being aggressive or intimidating? Report it to us or call our ASB line on 020 7527 7272.

We are working very hard to resolve the ongoing rough sleeping problem on Stroud Green Road. You can download our most recent update from the bottom of the page.

How you can help

Give to local homeless charities or buy the Big Issue.

Don't give to beggars, but instead make a donation to local homeless charities to enable us provide help and assistance to those in need.

By giving to beggars you are encouraging street begging and possibly fuelling addiction. Dealing with street beggars can also take a lot of our outreach workers time, meaning it is difficult for our limited resources to be able to help those most vulnerable that really need, want and are willing to accept support.

Local Islington projects and services include, you can find out more about them by clicking the links on the right-hand side:

  • St Mungo’s – provide our street based outreach service, advice services, day centres and hostels and support to people with mental  health issues. 
  • CARIS Islington –  a group of seven Islington churches that are committed to providing cold weather shelters in Islington during the freezing weather.
  • Single Homeless Project (SHP) - provide supported accommodation and floating support to people with offending history and substance misuse issues. 
  • The Manna – a faith based organisation offering food, clothing and showers plus benefits advice and access to homeless outreach services.

Volunteer through our partners

If you want to do something practical to help volunteer with one of our partners above.

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