What can you do if you come across a homeless young person this winter?

Contact Streetlink

Streetlink is an app whereby you can immediately report someone sleeping on the streets to your local authority. You can download the app from Apple or Google – alternatively call the 24 hour helpline on 0300 5000914. Be sure to be as detailed as possible with their appearance and location to give the team the best chance of finding the individual who needs help.

Photo by Peter Clarkson on Unsplash

Refer them to Centrepoint Helpline

Alternatively, if you know of a young person who might be at risk of becoming homeless, the Freephone Centrepoint Helpline is available for any young person aged 16-25 in England. Open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm – call 0808 800 0661.

Many young people do not realise they are homeless. The stereotype of the rough sleeper in the grubby sleeping bag can lead young people to believe that their situation is “not all that bad”.

However, research show that sofa-surfing’ is incredibly common, with over two-thirds (68%)[1] of homeless young people having temporarily stayed with friends or extended family (compared to 10% of the general population).

If safe, ask them if they are ok

The decision of whether or not to give money or food is always a personal one. However, a small act of kindness can make a big difference: even if you have nothing else to give, a friendly face and acknowledgement will always be welcome.

As a follow-on from this, if you feel someone’s health is at immediate risk, ring the emergency services, who will be able to help.

Photo by Randy Jacob on Unsplash

Get involved with Centrepoint

Centrepoint is urging people to donate this winter; just £18 could give a young homeless person a warm, safe room, hot meal and support in rebuilding their life. Visit: http://centrepoint.org.uk/safechristmas



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