07 March 2017
We do not share information about people to the Home Office, except when an individual has given their consent, or in situations where people are at risk. We think leaving a vulnerable person to die on the streets is unacceptable. The average age of death of someone who’s been homeless is 47, for women, 43.
People not from the UK may not have entitlements to any benefits. This can result in complex situations for them with no access to housing or support services, which in turn results in long term rough sleeping which is harmful and dangerous.
Our outreach teams are commissioned by local authorities. If they are working with non UK nationals sleeping rough they would first ensure that people understand their rights and entitlements, including, where feasible, assistance to take up options in the UK like work and housing.
If the person is vulnerable, teams would look to offer appropriate support in the UK where that is an option, or in the person’s home country where this is not an option.
Where local authorities or the Home Office decide to take action against individuals or groups who are sleeping rough, we do work with them in order to ensure that people who are vulnerable get the help that they need. Our role here is about advocacy and safety.
The stark reality is that without any intervention people would remain destitute and at real risk of harm on the streets.
Partnership working is key in helping people to move away from the streets, recover their lives and not return to rough sleeping. We work with migrant charities, domestic abuse organisations, health services, probation services, the police, local authorities and many others.
We are reviewing our approach across our outreach teams to ensure that we are operating to good practice in every area.