Homeless and Inclusion Health Winter Resources
The following page contains guidance and resources for those working in health, housing and social care services this winter. If you would like to feature a resource or provide a correction to the content below, please contact the London Homeless Health Team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Last updated: 13 January 2023
Already this winter, we have seen a significant rise in street homelessness. There has been a 24% increase in rough sleeping in the Capital overall (CHAIN report) with a 35% rise in those new to the streets compared with the same period last year. With the impact and pressure of the cost-of-living crisis, this is expected to increase further. Due to this and the restricted supply of temporary accommodation available, local authority housing teams are under unprecedented pressure to find suitable accommodation for those that need it. This pressure has also been felt within the health service, with fewer resources available to treat a larger number of inpatients across London. With this in mind, it’s important to recognise the strains on both sides of the system and to be cooperative in finding solutions together.
To aid with the decision-making process, please find some steps that can be taken to help meet the accommodation needs of people.
- Contact local authority (LA) housing teams. Even if it is outside of office hours, it is important that the LA out of hours team is called. If someone is vulnerable and may be in priority need, they can consider whether an immediate offer of emergency accommodation can be made. You can find your local authority contact details and process here on the London Hospital Discharge Housing Options Directory which currently sits on the Future NHS platform
- If the person is well and doesn’t require medical attention and it is during the day (between 11-5), they can visit a nearby homelessness day centre, which may be able to help provide food, shelter, housing advice and other support, Crisis have four Christmas day centres around London, or use Homeless Link’s directory to find other nearby centres – https://homeless.org.uk/homeless-england/?lat=&lng=&place_id=&service_q=London&miles=&service_types=day-centre
- The following warm and welcoming spaces are also available in London as areas where people can be while waiting for alternative accommodation options, there are sites on the Greater London Authority website and the charity Warm Welcome
- You can also submit a referral to Street Link, which can be used to alert an outreach worker to a person’s presence on the street, in an effort to address their needs, click here to find out more: https://www.streetlink.org.uk/
- For health advice on keeping well over the colder months, see Groundswell’s updated winter health guide.
If you would like to feature a resource or provide a correction to the content below, please contact the London Homeless Health Team at email@example.com