Policing and Safety icon

Working with the street population

The council’s 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 work with them to help tackle things like substance misuse, mental health and homelessness. We also work with the police to tackle any anti-social behaviour e.g. aggressive begging.

Street begging and rough sleeping

Most people who beg on the streets are not homeless and do 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?

Islington Council works with a range of partners, from community groups to local homeless charities, to offer support to vulnerable people on our streets. 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.

The type of support includes:

  • Outreach services: Islington’s outreach teams work with local vulnerable people to find out what led them to become 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.

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 concerned about becoming homeless yourself you can 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

How you can help

Give to local homeless charities or buy the Big Issue

We ask you to not give to beggars, but rather to make a donation to local homeless charities  to help 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, you can also lend your time by volunteering with one of our partners above. 

Was this information helpful?
  1. Please select


  2. Data protection: We will handle your personal information in line with the Data Protection Act 1998 and in accordance with the council’s Fair Processing Notice.