It can be difficult to see someone sleeping rough or experiencing homelessness, and to know how to help. But every year thousands of people help St Mungo's in our mission to end homelessness and rebuild lives and you can too.
Alerting local services to people who are sleeping rough can save lives.
Use Streetlink, the national rough sleeper referral line, to tell our outreach teams, Local Authorities and other homelessness organisations where you've seen someone sleeping rough.
In a few easy steps you can use StreetLink to connect people experiencing homelessness with local support available to them, which can help them.
What happens next?
Our teams are experts and know how to support people away from the streets.
They use the information provided through StreetLink by people like you to find individuals who are sleeping rough, assess their needs and help them to find the support and accommodation that is right for them.
We will be able to support some people into accommodation immediately, but for others it might take some time. Everyone's journey to the streets is different and so are their options away from the streets.
StreetLink is not an emergency service. If you believe the individual requires emergency medical attention for their mental or physical health, don't hesitate - call 999 for an ambulance or the police.
We helped 3,213 people on average each night in 2020-21
We supported 31,620 people across 207 services in 2020-21
That's just the beginning
Getting someone off the streets is a vital first step towards a person's recovery, but it's not the end of the story. At St Mungo's, we've developed a recovery based approach which takes a person's unique skills and strengths and places them at the heart of their own recovery.
Together, we can end homelessness.
A gift of just £25 could help a homeless person off the streets for good.
Find out more
Volunteer and make a huge difference to the range of services we can offer people who are homeless.
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There are loads of ways you can fundraise and help those experiencing homelessness.
Find out more
We do not advise on whether or not to give to someone who is begging.
In our professional experience, however, begging and rough sleeping are two distinct issues. Some people beg but are not homeless or sleeping rough. Some might have not access to benefits or a wage and be destitute. Others might have somewhere indoors to sleep but need money to pay for other things. What you do with your own money is your decision.
All of our hostels are free at the point of access. People are referred into our hostels, usually via outreach teams or local housing or health professionals. Nobody needs to pay up front to come into them. Some people may not be able to access hostels, however, in which case it may be true that they need to pay in advance for accommodation.