A campaign aimed at encouraging shoppers to refer rough sleepers to help and advice has been launched in Basildon and Billericay.
Shoppers in Basildon Town Centre and Billericay High Street are being encouraged to refer people who are rough sleeping to StreetLink via the StreetLink App or website.
As part of its commitment to prevent homelessness and rough sleeping, Basildon Council is working in partnership with national homelessness charity St Mungo’s to deliver an outreach service to people sleeping rough.
The campaign is being supported by Basildon Town Centre Management (BTCM).
Councillor Don Morris, Chairman of the Housing Committee, said: “No one should be rough sleeping in this day and age.
“This campaign focuses on getting the right help to those who need it most.
“It is every individuals own decision as to whether they would like to give money to someone sleeping rough, but there are several other ways to make a difference that might have a longer-term positive impact.
“The best thing to do is to use the StreetLink service, which links the person up with local charities that can provide the best type of support.”
Matt Harrison, Director of StreetLink, said: “Sleeping rough is dangerous and bad for your health.
“Sending an alert via StreetLink is the most effective action you can take, and is the first step towards helping end someone’s rough sleeping for good,
by connecting someone to local services like the Basildon outreach team for support.”
The outreach service that will act on the StreetLink alerts is part-funded by the council and works by providing people who are sleeping rough with essential services and supporting them into safe, secure and affordable accommodation.
Members of the public who see people sleeping on the streets and want to be able to help please go to the StreetLink website or download the App.
Members of the public can make referrals which experienced street impact workers follow up on their shifts.
Shifts are undertaken either early in the morning or late at night and are focussed around known rough sleeping hotspots.
Go to www.streetlink.org.uk