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Help for homeless rough sleepers

Public services to help rough sleepers are open at this time of year

A number of organisations in Oxfordshire are open and ready to help rough sleepers over the holiday season.

Oxford City Council can help people who fall into homelessness over Christmas time. The local authority has emergency officers on duty on bank holidays and weekends, and services will be open during normal business hours over the coming week.

Day centres like Steppin’ Stone in East Oxford and Gatehouse in central Oxford are providing food and Christmas presents. Hostels and other supported accommodation will also be open.

“Oxford City Council is absolutely committed to doing all it can to prevent and tackle homelessness and rough sleeping. We will continue to fund and support the services that help people in this situation, over the festive season and in the years to come."

– Councillor Mike Rowley, Board member for Housing and Property Services,

The Oxford Street Population Outreach Team (SPOT) can refer rough sleepers to the day service at O'Hanlon House which will be open every day, providing lunch and other activities. The SPOT team works early in the mornings and late at night, to help people who find themselves on the street and need accommodation.

If you see someone sleeping rough you can contact SPOT to let them know by telephoning 01865 304 611, or send an email to the team on outreach.oxford@mungosbroadway.org.uk

Wherever you are in the UK you can contact the 24-hour Streetlink service on 0300 500 0914 or use their app at http://www.streetlink.org.uk/

Streetlink is part funded by the government and public donations. It is a way for the public to alert local authorities in England about people sleeping rough in their area.

Rough sleeping summit held to tackle homelessness

It's thought more than a thousand people sleep rough every year in Brighton and Hove Credit: ITV Meridian

The first ever 'rough sleeping summit' has been held in Brighton and Hove.

It's thought more than a thousand people sleep rough every year in the city.

The council says it hopes to build on existing services so no one is homeless and living on its streets by 2020.

"Our vision is to make sure no-one has the need to sleep rough in Brighton & Hove by 2020. This is a challenge we need to start tackling now.

"The aim is to build on existing provision and work with our partners to see an effective city-wide approach for the future. The dangers of living on the streets are severe and impact on some of the most vulnerable in our society.

"At a time when resources are scarce and demand is rising, we need to look at how we can work together to help those in need."

– Cllr Clare Moonan, lead councillor for homelessness

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