Christmas time can often be the most difficult for homeless people, as many families cosy up for the festive period, the best many rough sleepers can hope for is forgiving weather.
While caught up in the stress of shopping for gifts and preparing food, it can be easy to forget that, according to the most recent figures, there are around 4,800 people sleeping rough in England.
So what can we do to help the people suffering, as part of this growing problem?
Contact the professionals
The purpose of StreetLink is to put homeless people in contact with their local authority and outreach services, which can provide immediate support to homeless people.
The public is asked to provide a specific location for the site, details of the time the rough sleeper has been seen at the location and any other information, such as gender and approximate age.
This is passed by StreetLink to outreach teams who will use the information to find the homeless person and provide assistance.
Although every case is different, usual procedure is for the outreach team to "carry out an assessment with the person."
StreetLink say the outreach team will "then work with them to look at solutions to try and end their rough sleeping; one of these options might be temporary accommodation."
The charity stress on their website they are not an emergency service and any member of the public with serious concerns for the welfare of a rough sleeper should phone 999.
Acknowledge and engage
Loneliness is not only a cause of homelessness - many rough sleepers don't have friends or family to turn to - but it is also a symptom, especially at Christmas.
They say simply acknowledging a person, either with a conversation or even just a smile, shows rough sleepers they are not alone and that people care about them.
They say: "The first way to help is simple one - speak up!
"A warm greeting, some simple small talk or even just asking a personal question can make all the difference."
Don't forget the pets
As you have probably many homeless people have a pet dog by their side and as charity says: "A dog is often a homeless person’s only companion, but the added expense of vet and food bills puts an extra burden on people who are already in a vulnerable situation."
All three offer veterinary services and provide food to the pets of homeless people.
While pets offer a companion to homeless people, they can also be a reason for rough sleeping, because most hostels do not allow animals.
Give a gift
When you're out shopping for loved ones this Christmas, if you're able to and comfortable, have a conversation with a rough sleeper to find out if there is anything they may need.
Another way of gifting homeless people is to work with a charity who do just that. Charity offer a service in which people can donate items such as clean clothes in all sizes, unused toiletries, full, sealed packets of dry, non perishable food within their sell by date, new socks, new underwear, new towels and new bedding.
The shop has a list of the most essential items a homeless person might need. All you need to do is purchase an item and the team will distribute it to a homeless person in Bournemouth or London.
Giving time is better than giving money
Most homeless charities say giving money to homeless people is a choice for the individual, however it is advised by that not all people asking for money are homeless, and some need money to support a drug habit.
They instead suggest donating money to homeless charities who are better placed to assess the situation of a rough sleeper and are able to provide more tailored support.
HARP say "what people need is real change, not loose change" and suggests that instead of offering a homeless person money, put them "in touch with one of to give them the chance to get themselves a hand up, not a hand out."
John, who is receiving assistance from HARP, told them: "Giving a pound to someone on the streets may ease your conscience, but giving someone some time and courtesy can make a bigger difference.
"If you want to help, support the charity that can give genuine help; help the people that help homeless people."
A great way to give time instead of money is by volunteering with a homeless charity.