Street homelessness

We aim to minimise the need for anyone to resort to sleeping rough. In order to achieve this, we aim to:

  • Meet and support individuals, in Southampton, who are street homeless or are imminently at risk of street homelessness 
  • Assist people sleeping rough to exit a street lifestyle by accessing appropriate services to meet their needs 
  • Support individuals in the positive choices they make that prevent them from returning to the street 
  • Reconnect people, where appropriate, to their local area so that they can access the most appropriate services to meet their needs

What happens during the winter?

When the winter sets in and the weather turns colder, we provide extra emergency accommodation for rough sleepers who want shelter from the cold and those who are imminently at risk of having to sleep on the street.

This is in addition to the usual spaces we, alongside our partners, provide throughout the year. More spaces are provided over the winter period when people are more likely to accept our help and come indoors.

As well as the cold weather provision, there are extra beds within the city’s main homeless hostels during periods of severe cold weather.

Our Street Homeless Prevention Team carry out more outreach work on the streets to locate rough sleepers and encourage those found sleeping out to take up the offers of help.

What should I do if I see rough sleepers in need of help?

People needing emergency shelter can approach us themselves by attending at the Homeless Day Centre situated at 30 Cranbury Avenue, Southampton SO14 0LT. The day centre provides facilities for people to have a shower, use the laundry, enjoy a hot meal, access IT equipment and receive health advice from medical professionals.

However, if you’re worried about a rough sleeper, please contact the Street Homeless Prevention Team on 023 8083 2343 or via email. It’s useful if you can share some information about the person, such as:

  • Their name/nickname 
  • If they're male or female 
  • Their approximate age 
  • A description 
  • Where and when you saw them

You don't have to give us your own details but it might be helpful if we need to contact you for more information.

Remember you can also report rough sleepers in any part of the country on the national reporting site Street Link

What if there’s an emergency related to a rough sleeper?

Please call 999 if you see someone who is unwell or distressed. Don't put yourself in danger or approach someone acting strangely, even to help.

Should I give money to a rough sleeper?

Whether or not you choose to give money to rough sleepers is a personal choice. Many people feel much more comfortable donating to established charities to make sure money goes towards someone who is homeless, rather than someone begging to sustain an addiction. You could offer someone a hot drink or some food, or simply stop to chat to them for a while.

Our partner agencies provide regularly updated information on the Street Support website. This online service not only allows those in need to find help, but also shows others where they can give help.

How can I volunteer to help rough sleepers in Southampton?

If you’re interested in doing more to help rough sleepers in the city, please head to the Street Support website, where you can find lots of information and advice about volunteering.