Services in Westminster met more than 1500 new rough sleepers last year. Hundreds more came and went who had prior histories of rough sleeping. Westminster City Council’s response has been based on effective and comprehensive services aimed at rapid intervention to help move rough sleepers away from street living and find sustained options for them. Working in partnership with the Police, the Statutory sector and the Voluntary sector in Westminster our teams work through night and day to reduce the impact of this activity on everyone concerned but we need to ensure that what we do really makes a difference for the benefit of residents, businesses, visitors and the rough sleepers themselves.
While much has been achieved, we are facing and increasingly challenging environment with the numbers or rough sleepers increasing across all of London. The Rough Sleeping Strategy 2013-16 seeks to build on previous strategies and is based on the following 5 priorities:
Our overriding objective is to:
In order to deliver this we will:
Read the full Strategy here.
On 1 July 2005 Westminster became the first Local Authority in the country to move the core part of their outreach services for homeless people from the streets into buildings.
This new approach has meant that outreach workers are now based at day and night centres with extended operating hours, where rapid and assertive needs-led assessment and support planning takes place.
Westminster has ensured that dedicated street workers are available to assess vulnerable rough sleepers who can still be met on the streets, and a specialist mental health team (the Joint Homelessness Team) will continue to carry out mental health assessments on the streets.
Three Building Based Services act as the first point of assessment and action planning for homeless people across Westminster - The Passage Day Centre, St Mungo's Rough Sleepers Assessment Centre, and Connection at St Martin’s Day Centre.
Tel: 020 7592 1850
Tel: 020 7766 5544
Tel: 020 7724 9256
The Met Police Safer Streets Homeless Unit (SSHU)
Westminster has a dedicated borough-wide police team who deal exclusively with rough sleeping and associated anti-social street activity (including begging and street drinking)
Tel: 020 7321 7560
This is a dedicated helpline for members of the public who are concerned about people sleeping rough in their area. The number is available 24 hours a day to members of the public who notice new people sleeping rough or are concerned about the deteriorating health and wellbeing of familiar rough sleepers. Information given to the helpline will be passed on to the building based rough sleepers services and help directed accordingly.
In a medical emergency, an ambulance should always be called.
Whatever your interest, Westminster City Council welcomes and encourages you to get in touch with suggestions for improvements to the site. Please tell us how useful this page was to you.