Updated July 2017
People often ask how they can help people sleeping rough in Sheffield. This post gives more information about the issues and the different ways to help:
1. What’s the difference between rough sleeping and homelessness?
Rough Sleeping is the most visible sign of homelessness. Sleeping rough is where someone is totally roofless and has to sleep out on the streets.
Other people are classed as homeless but have somewhere to stay – either in temporary accommodation, some of which is provided by the council, or with family and friends, sometimes known as ‘sofa surfing’.
Other people classed as homeless remain in their own home but need to move out because it is unsuitable, overcrowded or they can no longer live there. This can be for a number of reasons such as the landlord giving them notice or circumstances change which means they can no longer afford the rent.
2. How many people sleep rough in Sheffield?
The last official count of rough sleepers in Sheffield – reported to Government in December 2016 – showed 15 people sleeping rough.
The numbers fluctuate at different times of the year and sometimes people will sleep on the street when they have a place to stay.
These people were counted by outreach teams from the city’s rough sleeper service who are in the city centre at night and early morning to find people and offer support.
Other people beg for money on the streets in Sheffield but have got somewhere to stay and are not sleeping rough. Some are involved in other street activities such as drinking.
It is important that help is offered to all these people. This is provided by lots of different organisations in the city working together.
3. What’s being done to help?
Sheffield City Council works closely with local homeless charities and the police to help people who are sleeping rough. This includes commissioning charity Framework to provide Sheffield’s Street Outreach Team.
- Every week, a number of early morning outreach sessions take place in the city centre to identify and support the people who are sleeping rough.
- As well as support with accommodation, Sheffield has a number of services which offer practical help and advice to rough sleepers.
- This includes offering food, clothing, showers and laundry facilities as well as access to healthcare professionals and support to find somewhere to live. There are also drop-in services.
Accommodation is offered to anyone sleeping rough during cold weather so they do not have to sleep on the streets. See here for more information.
4. Do rough sleepers beg for money?
Some do but there are also people who beg for money who are not sleeping rough and have somewhere to stay.
It is important that help is offered to everyone to help them off the streets. There are many different services that help provide this. See here for more information.
5. What should I do if I’m worried about someone?
If you’re worried about someone sleeping rough please contact our Street Outreach Team rough sleeper service on 0800 066 5358 (free from landlines and mobiles). You can also text SOT to 80800, followed by your message. During evenings and weekends please phone the council’s out of hours housing solution service on 0800 7311 689.
There are also lots of ways people can help support local homeless charities. See here for information www.helpushelp.uk