The council is working proactively alongside partner agencies to safeguard individuals who rough sleep during the extreme hot weather.
Rough sleepers support this winter
This winter, like every other, we are making sure that rough sleepers have somewhere to keep safe, have a meal and stay warm during the cold winter months.
From November to the end of March 2022, the ‘Rough Sleeper Winter Plan’ is in place protecting them against the winter weather and the risks posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Anyone sleeping rough in Sheffield will be assessed, and we will work with them to secure emergency and then more permanent ‘move-on’ accommodation with appropriate support.
The Winter Plan aims to prevent deaths and serious harm on the streets due to harsh winter conditions, reduce the risks for people sleeping rough, increase opportunities for talking with people who are sleeping rough and to continue our aim to reduce and end rough sleeping.
Janet Sharpe, Director for Housing and Neighbourhood Services, said: “We have a number of services working together to make this happen and we’re committed to working together to help people move on from the streets and get the help they need as quickly as possible. Help us Help, which is run by local charities, the Council, a residents group and other services provides up to date information to the public about how best to support people who find themselves in a very vulnerable position, begging or sleeping rough.”
How we assess the help a rough sleeper needs
People are offered assessments by the Council, access to drug and alcohol services and engagement with health and mental health services alongside outreach support. When our Housing Solutions team has assessed people for eligibility the team makes the final decision on whether someone can be placed into accommodation. They will then be expected to have an assessment, engage with services to agree appropriate support plans to help them achieve more permanent accommodation and a safer and more settled lifestyle. Specialist support and healthcare is also provided if needed.
The plan is funded by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. We have applied for further funding so that we can have more capacity in the scheme to better meet the needs of people who sleep rough.
How you can help
If you see someone sleeping rough in Sheffield and are concerned, you can report it either online via Streetlink, or by calling Sheffield’s Street Outreach Team on 0800 066 5358 which is free from landlines and mobiles. You can also text SOTS to 80800, followed by your message. During evenings and weekends our out of hours Housing Solutions service is on 0800 7311 689.
Janet Sharpe added: “We will do everything we can to help to support our most vulnerable in the city and those who need our outreach support and essential services. Being safe and warm in the winter is what everyone needs. This ongoing help and support builds on the success we’ve seen here in Sheffield where we have seen rough sleeper numbers fall in the city. More people have been coming to us seeking help at an earlier stage. As a result, we’re seeing them access help and support and settled accommodation which changes their lives.”