Rough sleeping in London has doubled in the past five years. Sleeping on the streets is a dangerous and traumatising experience, and people who sleep rough will experience multiple health conditions, such as mental health problems and substance misuse.

Working in partnership with the London Borough of Redbridge, we have developed a street outreach team to reach rough sleepers across the whole borough. We aim to locate and assess clients within 24-48 hours, and, where possible, access accommodation to assist clients off the streets and break the cycle of street homelessness. In 2016-17 we worked with more than 200 rough sleepers in the borough.

We undertake street-based patrols late at night and early in the morning. The team responds to referrals and actively looks for vulnerable people sleeping on the streets of Redbridge.

People can refer themselves to this service, and we also welcome referrals from members of the public, shopkeepers, bus drivers, ambulance crews, Police, custody officers, support agencies - anyone who is concerned about someone they think is sleeping rough.

When making a referral, the more information you can provide the more chance we have of being able to make the correct intervention on the first occasion. Useful information for us to know includes:

  • Location seen bedded down and at what times of day
  • Language spoken if known
  • Description of the person
  • If known to be begging or street drinking
  • Any known risks associated with the person or location
  • If the person is alone or with others

How can referrals be made?

Referrals are made through Street Link who can be contacted on 0300 500 0914.

What will be done once a referral is made?

We will arrange to come out and look for the person. We will carry out an assessment with them and make referrals to appropriate support services.