Supporting rough sleepers this winter
As the weather gets colder it’s more important than ever that those living on the streets receive the support they need.
Kevin Livingston is a complex needs outreach worker for Islington Council. He works closely with local partners and charities to get homeless people into housing and their lives back on track. In the last year he’s helped more than 90 rough sleepers get off the streets and into accommodation.
“When we meet someone who is newly sleeping rough, we have to start building a whole new relationship with them,” Kevin says. “People come from all walks of life and no two situations are ever the same.
“Most of the people I work with often have multiple needs, such as mental health, physical health needs and substance use issues, as well as experiencing homelessness. Some people who sleep on the streets are very vulnerable – those people need our help.
“The work doesn’t stop when we’ve successfully homed someone. Another important part of our job is to work closely with them to prevent a return to the streets,” he says.
“When we see people’s lives get turned around like that, it makes all the challenges worthwhile.
How you can help
If you see someone sleeping rough the best thing to do is to call StreetLink on 0300 500 0914 or visit www.streetlink.org.uk