Help us support rough sleepers over the festive period
People worried about the welfare of rough sleepers in the Great Yarmouth area over the festive period and beyond can use a free service to trigger help from the local council and support groups.
Great Yarmouth Borough Council has signed up to the national StreetLink service which allows people to report concerns using their app or the StreetLink website. Those sleeping rough themselves can also use the app to directly ask for help.
Reports trigger notifications to the council's dedicated rough sleeper team, which works with homeless people to offer support and access to help from the council, charities and voluntary organisations. People making reports also get an update on the situation, so they can be reassured that help has been offered.
The service is especially helpful at a time when the team is able to offer additional accommodation and support to rough sleepers, thanks to the concerns over the Omicron variant of Covid-19 triggering additional funding from central government.
The council's rough sleeper and pathway coordinator Caroline Glibbery said: "Our rough sleeper team is frequently out and about in the borough and in most cases we will already be aware of people sleeping rough and in touch with them to offer support, but the StreetLink service is an easy and valuable way for the public to be our extended eyes and ears.
"It can be difficult for the public to know where best to go to get support for the homeless, and using StreetLink hopefully means we can cut out that confusion and offer help more quickly."
Support offered directly by the council includes emergency accommodation for people sleeping rough. The council also works closely with partners including DIAL, Herring House Trust and the Herring Centre for Advice and Support, The Living Room, CGL, Job Centre, Salvation Army, and Light House Medical Centre to provide help and support.
Housing and neighbourhoods committee chairman Councillor Andy Grant said: "Rough sleeping and homelessness can be a complex issue, and every individual affected will need different help. The first step for everyone though is to get to know about the wide range of support the council and our partners can offer, and we hope StreetLink will be a powerful new tool in helping us start those conversations."
People can make a report via the free StreetLink app on the Apple or Google Play stores, by going to the StreetLink website or by phoning 0300 500 0914. People can also email email@example.com to contact the council's rough sleeping team directly.