|Printable version||E-mail this to a friend|
Public Urged To Use Good Deed App As Winter Approaches
StreetLink has already helped public connect 4,000 rough sleepers to local services - but public urged to do more with cold winter forecast.
The StreetLink app, telephone line and website, run in partnership between charities Homeless Link and Broadway, have now been running for a year - and have already helped members of the public connect over 4,000 rough sleepers with the advice and services they need.
However, with freezing weather around the corner, even more people need to act to help get homeless people in from the cold.
Some 2,309 people are estimated to sleep rough every night in England. New research shows that many are not aware of the help that is available to them.
Polling also shows that there is a vast desire to help amongst the British public - but confusion about the best way to do so.
Now, StreetLink technology makes doing a good deed easier than ever. In a single step, a member of the public can alert their Local Authority to a rough sleeper they’re concerned about.
And the latest figures show just how well the service is working. There have been almost 11,000 alerts to local services in its first 12 months; and half of those who have used StreetLink have never helped a rough sleeper before.
John from Manchester, is just one former rough sleeper found by local services in response to a StreetLink alert from the public. Commenting John said:
“StreetLink is such an invaluable service. For me, it really stopped things deteriorating as they easily could have done.
“It’s helped me get back on my feet as quickly as possible. The team that came and found me was incredibly supportive, and helped me to stay positive at a very difficult time.”
Rick Henderson, Chief Executive of Homeless Link, said:
“The service is enabling so many people to help rough sleepers for the first time. It’s very encouraging to see new technology being used as a real force for good in this way.
“If you’re concerned about a rough sleeper in your local area, call 0300 500 0914 or visit www.streetlink.org.uk - and help them get the support they need.”
Howard Sinclair, Chief Executive of Broadway, said:
“I’m delighted that in its first year, StreetLink has already made such a difference. Now we need even more people to use the service, so we can help people most in need who are forced to sleep on our streets.
“It’s great to see how people care and will act to help homeless people in their local communities. But more needs to be done - and quickly. As temperatures drop, it’s crucial we all act to help those left out in the cold.”
StreetLink is funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Greater London Authority.
On a visit to the StreetLink call centre to meet staff and volunteer, Kris Hopkins, Minister for Housing at Communities and Local Government, said:
“I am determined that every effort is made to tackle rough sleeping and get more support to vulnerable people. It is encouraging to see that through Streetlink over 4,000 rough sleepers have been offered support and services to help them get off the streets.
“Part of the reason StreetLink has been so successful is because the app and phoneline makes it easy to help a person sleeping rough, not with a cash handout but with the valuable alternative of practical support.
“Christmas is the season of good will, and as the cold weather kicks in, I urge anyone concerned about a rough sleeper in their area to download the app and get in touch with StreetLink”
Richard Blakeway, Deputy Mayor for Housing, Land and Property said:
“Innovative projects like StreetLink really help tackle homelessness and keep local agencies updated on everyone who need their services. So many of us see people we’d like to help but we’re just not sure how. I’m pleased that we now can use this excellent project to reach out to people who need our support on the street.”