19 Jan 2022

Help for rough sleepers this winter

People worried about the welfare of rough sleepers on the Island can use an app or website to get them help.

The Isle of Wight Council has signed up to the national StreetLink service which allows people to report concerns using an app or the StreetLink website.

Reports trigger notifications to a specialist outreach team commissioned by the council to offer support and look at the options available to help people who are sleeping rough.

People making reports also get an update on the situation, so they can be reassured that help has been offered.

Homeless people can also use the app or website to trigger the help process.

StreetLink itself is not an outreach service or an accommodation provider, nor is it an emergency service. It is the link between someone sleeping rough and the independent local services available.

Councillor Ian Stephens, deputy leader and Cabinet member for housing provision and housing needs, said: "It's unacceptable to many of us that people in the year 2022 find themselves in the position that they have no place to call home.

"Having a safe and secure home is one of the most fundamental needs that each and every one of us has. For people without a place to call home the level of risks that they face are multiple — risks to their physical health, risks to their mental health, risk to their emotional wellbeing and risk to their physical safety.

"Rough Sleeping is the most dangerous form of homelessness and it kills. Shocking figures released by the Office of National Statistics in 2021 show there were an estimated 688 deaths of homeless people in England and Wales. This means that on average two homeless people die each day.

"It can be difficult for the public to know where best to go to get support for the homeless, and using StreetLink hopefully means we can cut out that confusion and connect people sleeping rough to local services."

Islanders can send StreetLink an alert about someone sleeping rough via the website: www.streetlink.org.uk, the mobile 'StreetLink' app available from Apple iTunes/Google Play store or by calling 0300 500 0914.

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Factfile
  • Reports trigger notifications to a specialist outreach team commissioned by the council to offer support and look at the options available to help people who are sleeping rough.
  • People making reports also get an update on the situation, so they can be reassured that help has been offered.
 
Isle of Wight, UK