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How we support rough sleepers

Our outreach team work with local partners, community groups and charities to do all they can to help people rough sleeping in Islington to get into accommodation and get their lives back on track.

Our specialist team works with them to tackle issues like substance misuse, mental health and homelessness.

What do we do?

We offer a range of tailored support to anyone rough sleeping in Islington, and will continue to look at innovative ways to help them into safe and secure accommodation.

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.

This support includes:

  • Addressing complex issues: our outreach teams work with rough sleepers to understand how they became homeless and to look at how we can help them to address it. This includes offering specialist support to tackle drink and drug addictions, or issues with mental health.
  • Providing somewhere safe to go: we work with local organisations to offer drop-in facilities, shelters and supported accommodation and to provide intensive support to encourage rough sleepers to engage with other services and move away from the streets permanently.
  • Providing additional winter shelter: we set up additional shelter during the winter months to ensure rough sleepers have access to accommodation, and to prevent anyone from dying on the streets. When the temperature reaches 0C or below, Islington’s Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (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. You can find the full plan below.

We are also looking at ways to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place. You can read more about our work to prevent homelessness and end rough sleeping in our Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy, and on our housing pages.

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

Our key partners

  • St Mungo’s – provide our street based outreach service and some hostels in the borough
  • The Manna – a day centre offering food, clothing and showers plus benefits advice and access to homeless outreach services
  • Union Chapel – run the Margins Project, a day centre for those homeless and in crisis in London
  • Streets Kitchen – local charity providing food and clothing to those on the streets
  • CARIS Islington – a group of seven Islington churches that are committed to providing cold weather shelters in Islington during the freezing weather
  • ingle Homeless Project (SHP) - provide supported accommodation and floating support to people with history of homelessness, substance misuse issues, mental health and offending
  • Groundswell – offer homeless health peer advice and support to people to access health support
  • Women at the Well -  local charity for women, supporting women who are at risk of being affected by prostitution

If you are concerned about a rough sleeper

If you are concerned about the wellbeing of someone who is sleeping rough on the streets, call Street link on 0300 500 0914 or visit Streetlink. This sends an alert to the local outreach team who will visit the location to make contact with the person. If you any immediate concerns for their health call 999 and request an ambulance.

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

Reporting crime and anti-social behaviour

If you witness a crime (e.g. drug dealing or drug use) please contact the police. Call 999 if it is an emergency/a crime is happening, or 101 if it is less urgent.

How you can help rough sleepers

Giving money to people on the streets isn’t the best way to help. If you want to make a real difference:

  • Talk to the person or offer them a cup of tea
  • Donate to or volunteer with one of our local homeless charities, listed on this page
  • Buy the Big Issue 
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