Worried about someone who is sleeping rough? Tell StreetLink.
We are very pleased that the StreetLink service launches in Wales this week.
StreetLink is a website, app and phone-line which allows members of the public to send an alert when they see someone sleeping rough to the nearby services that can help. It was launched in England in December 2012 and since then has sent more than 35.5k alerts about people sleeping rough. The Wallich has been campaigning for its introduction in Wales ever since.
Referrals will be coordinated through Local Authorities. The details provided by callers are sent to the relevant council so they can help connect the person to local services and support. The person reporting the rough sleeper receives details of the action the council normally takes when they are told someone is sleeping rough.
The Welsh Government has funded the expansion of the service, which is delivered in partnership by the charities Homeless Link and St Mungo’s Broadway. The Wallich is the Wales partner for StreetLink, providing a Welsh-language service to callers, supporting promotion of StreetLink in Wales and receiving many of the referrals.
The most obvious benefit of StreetLink is that it will link vulnerable rough sleepers with services which can help them. The secondary benefits are that it will allow members of the public to engage with the issue of homelessness in a positive and proactive way, and also that eventually we will have more accurate data about the numbers of people on the streets across Wales.
Antonia Watson, Chief Executive at The Wallich said:
“So often, members of the public see someone sleeping rough and wonder ‘what can I do?’. People in the general population are obviously scared of approaching strangers on the street, concerned about doing the wrong thing, and unsure what to do for the best. Unfortunately this often leads them to do nothing at all. Streetlink solves this issue. It allows members of the public to do something about homelessness and connect rough sleepers directly with a service which can help them.”
Next time you see someone sleeping rough, send an alert via www.streetlink.org.uk or call 0300 500 0914.