Supporting people sleeping rough: our statement to The Guardian/Observer, 6 July 2019

St Mungo’s has been mentioned in an article in today’s Observer newspaper about the Rough Sleeper Support Service.

A St Mungo’s spokesperson said: “Non UK citizens who are sleeping rough can spend months, even years, in destitution, waiting to hear back from the Home Office in order to resolve their status. That is why we have been meeting with Home Office staff and working with other homelessness and migrant organisations to find ways for the Home Office to respond more quickly. In particular, we are seeking to ensure that people who may use the service do so based on informed consent and legal advice from a registered immigration adviser.”

How St Mungo’s works with non-UK nationals sleeping rough

  • People who aren’t from the UK may not be entitled to benefits, resulting in complex situations with no access to housing or support services. This, in turn, can result in long term rough sleeping.
  • Our first response for people in this situation is always an offer of help and support, ensuring people understand their rights and entitlements, including, where possible, assistance to realise their aspirations by taking up options in the UK like work and housing.
  • Where this is not possible, St Mungo’s has a range of other services including a supported reconnection to access treatment and housing options in the person’s home country.

Judicial Review

  • On 14 December 2017 The High Court ruled that Home Office policy on removal of EEA nationals for sleeping rough was unlawful.
  • Since 14 December 2017 St Mungo’s outreach teams have not been present during any ICE shifts.

Sharing information with the Home Office and resolving immigration issues

  • Our policy is that we do not share information about individuals with the Home Office, except when an individual has given their consent, or in situations where people are at significant risk to themselves or someone else.
  • We run a number of services that help people resolve their immigration status. That means working with the Home Office – with the person’s consent – when people haven’t got documentation.
  • We actively support people who are non UK nationals, for example, through the Routes Home service that we run on behalf of the Mayor of London.