Nobody should have to sleep on the streets. Norwich, like cities around the country, has seen too many people sleeping rough in recent years.
As well as the city centre, rough sleeping happens elsewhere around the city such as in parks and woodland areas.
What can I do to help?
- Be kind. Smile, acknowledge a person is there. When a person is sleeping rough, they can feel isolated and lonely.
- Point them in the direction of the services that can help them (detailed below)
- Donate to charities like St Martins. Our focus is on long term independence for homeless people and we offer housing, support and care for as long as people need it.
- Buy the Big Issue. The Big Issue is a magazine that homeless people sell to the public to make a legitimate income. Vendors buy the magazines for £1.25 and sell them for £2.50, meaning each seller is a micro-entrepreneur who is working, not begging.
- Donate to Norwich Street Aid. This is a fund by which homeless people can apply to buy specific items they need. This could include clothing, a mobile phone, transport or training for a qualification.
- Volunteer through the Pathways team. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Alert Streetlink if you are concerned about someone you have seen sleeping rough via their website www.streetlink.org.uk or mobile app, which is available to download for Apple or Android phones. Or call 0300 500 0914.
What is being done to assist people move into accommodation?
Pathways is group of expert agencies who engage with rough sleepers throughout the week all year round.
You might not see them; a lot of their work happens early in the morning to help them reach as many people as possible. The Pathways team respond to alerts provided through Streetlink and they seek out people who are sleeping rough via street counts and outreach work.
The team’s approach seeks to find suitable accommodation for each individual, alongside any additional support that someone might need to secure a place to live.Contact the Pathways team on 01603 980799.
Access to food and advice
Free housing advice is available at City Hall from Monday to Friday.
Severe weather arrangements
When a temperature of zero degrees Celsius or lower forecast for at least three consecutive nights, Norwich City Council activates the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP), to make sure no one has to sleep that rough that night.
These arrangements usually rely on using community buildings like churches and camp beds, which is not sustainable on a long-term basis.