Sleeping on the streets can be a dangerous and lonely experience, particularly when freezing temperatures hit during a typical British winter.
As much as we want to help someone in need, it can sometimes be difficult to know what the best thing to do in this situation is. Watch the video below (or read even further down) for our top tips…
1. Say hello
Rough sleeping can be a very lonely experience. First and foremost, please be kind, acknowledge a person is there and then ask if they would like any help.
2. Offer a hot drink or food
If you can afford to help out by buying or providing some nutritious food or a warming drink, this can make someone feel a little more comfortable when facing cold conditions.
3. Provide warm layers
You can also donate any coats or blankets you might have, providing the person is happy to accept these items. Added layers of warmth and comfort can go a long way in protecting against the elements.
4. Contact your local council or homelessness charity if you are concerned about someone sleeping out in the cold
When temperatures fall below zero, councils and/or charities will open emergency accommodation for people seeking warm shelter.
At DENS, we can provide a warm bed, a hot meal and expert advice for rough sleepers in Dacorum, Hertfordshire. These spaces are free of charge and we are available 24/7. If you are in the area and worried about someone, please call us on 01442 800131.
5. Alternatively, set up an alert on Streetlink
This is an app and website that lets members of the public in England and Wales alert local outreach teams to the location of people sleeping rough. Find out more at thestreetlink.org.uk.
If someone is experiencing a medical emergency, call 999 immediately.