Could you assist a homeless person in 2020?

I probably do not do this enough but, whenever I stop to talk to someone on the streets in Penzance, I am always taken by their stories of how they got to be homeless. It is so easy to think, “I’d never end up in that situation” or even blame the fact they might drink or take drugs (and let’s be clear, I know that not all homeless people drink excessively and many do not take drugs unless prescribed). The reality is, the wrong set of cards dealt to us or someone we love and it could be anyone of us.

Screenshot of Streetlink website

So, what should we do if concerned about someone sleeping rough? First thing is to talk with them and check whether they are getting any help or would like some help. If they would like some help or you are so concerned about their well-being, you want to bring them to the attention of an organisation that might know what to do, contact Streetlink on 0300 500 0914 or go through their website: Streetlink Website.

Streetlink is a national service that coordinates reports and sends them to the Council so that an outreach officer can visit the individual and put them in touch with services that might be able to help.

They will ask you to provide information about the location of the rough sleeper, the time they were seen and any details about them (age, gender, clothing, etc). Streetlink can provide you with an update of action taken, if you request it.

Alternatively, you can ring Cornwall Council’s Prevention and Engagement team direct on 0300 1234 161 to report rough sleepers.