Rough sleeping charity calls for public help

Charity calls for members of the public to report incidents of rough sleepers in Wales using its successful Streetlink campaign.

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Launched by Rough Sleepers Cymru, a coalition of homelessness charities, Streetlink is a system through which the public can alert people to incidences of rough sleeping, helping ensure support is mobilised.

It’s been a successful year for Streetlink with over 795 referrals received since the launch.

Antony Kendall, chair of Rough Sleepers Cymru, and an employee of homelessness charity the Wallich said: “Streetlink helps people make a real difference.

“Often we can feel helpless seeing the increase in rough sleeping. By contacting Streetlink, the public know that individuals are being noticed, and can be confident services will help them.”

Sharon Lee from Housing Justice Cymru added, “What we need now is greater awareness across Wales. There are areas with very low referrals, where we know rough sleeping is higher. For example, Wrexham has only 24 referrals, but estimated rough sleepers of 61. This has to change.”

To become a Streetlink Champion, people are urged to visit www.streetlink.org.uk, and sign up as a Champion. Once signed up, people can be sent posters and information about the service.

“The best way of ending rough sleeping is for us to notice it. We need to ensure that we don’t just walk past. Streetlink is a start.

“But more people need to know about it. We need the public to get involved, not to walk past,” said Lesley Phoenix, vice-chair of Rough Sleepers Cymru, and an employee of homelessness charity Adref.

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