Are you currently rough sleeping?

If you are currently rough sleeping, know of someone who is or you’re looking for more information on rough sleeping, you can find relevant advice and organisations to contact below.

How do support services define rough sleeping?

The website defines people who sleep rough as people sleeping, about to bed down or bedded down in the open air. Examples include in the street, tents, doorways, parks, bus shelters or encampments.

This also includes people in buildings or other places not designed for habitation such as stairwells, barns, sheds, car parks, cars, derelict boats, stations, or “bashes” which are makeshift shelters often formed of cardboard boxes.

What are the causes of rough sleeping?

Causes are described as being structural or individual.
Structural factors are wider societal and economic issues that affect the social environment for individuals. These can include:

  • Poverty
  • Lack of affordable housing
  • Inequality
  • Unemployment

They can also include individual factors and personal circumstances, such as:

  • Poor physical health
  • Poor mental health
  • Relationship breakdown
  • Bereavement

The above list is not exhaustive. The causes of rough sleeping are complex and often a result of intricate interactions between a set of policy, economic and personal factors.

How can sleeping rough impact your mental health?

Prolonged periods of sleeping rough can have a profound effect on your mental health. Many people who sleep rough are victims of crime, physical and verbal abuse.
These experiences alongside the isolation and fear of further abuse take a toll on your mental wellbeing, even after you have accommodation.

Research has shown 50% of people sleeping rough in 2018-2019 had mental health needs. You can find more information and data on mental health and its relationship with rough sleeping on London Datastore.

What are my housing rights?

The Reduction in Homelessness Act 2017 sets out new duties on English local authorities with the aim of preventing homelessness. Section 1 sets out the circumstances whereby households are threatened with homelessness, and therefore when they should be offered support from local authorities to try and prevent them from becoming homeless.

What do I do if I need food, clothing, sleeping bags and toiletries?

Croydon Nightwatch provides food every night at 21:30 at Queen’s Gardens /Mint Walk. On a Sunday, you can also get toiletries, clothing and other household items you need. You can find more information about Croydon Nightwatch at the bottom of the page.

Where can I get support if I am sleeping rough?

Support workers at the Croydon Health and Wellbeing Space can advise you on organisations such as Croydon Council or Streetlink, who can provide support with accessing emergency accommodation. We can also support you to complete any relevant referrals. You can call us, book an appointment or come as a walk-in.

Additional advice and support

Streetlink London

Streetlink is an organisation that aims to end rough sleeping by connecting rough sleepers with local services that can support them. Referrals can be completed online or via telephone by either the individual who is sleeping rough or another person on their behalf.

Members of an outreach team will visit the place they are sleeping to assess support needs and provide emergency accommodation, if appropriate.

Telephone: 0300 500 0914

Croydon Nightwatch

Nightwatch is a voluntary organisation that functions as a first point of contact for homeless people. They signpost them to other agencies, provide urgent and necessary items of food, clothing, toiletries, pots, pans, as well as household goods to people in need. No referral is needed. Anyone in need can attend Queen’s Gardens/Bernard Weatherill House every night at 21:30.

Stonewall Housing

Stonewall Housing offer housing advice and support to LGBTQ+ people. They also provide safe and secure accommodation, through supported accommodation in six different shared housing projects in four London boroughs.

Would you like to talk to someone?