Rough sleeping and homeless emergencies
The Government’s vision is to end rough sleeping and has called upon every local authority to help. We take this commitment very seriously and have made resources and services available so that rough sleepers can be identified and helped.
If you are concerned that someone is rough sleeping visit the Street Link (www.streetlink.org.uk) website to get them help. The referral just takes a minute.
You will be asked to provide the following information:
- A specific location for the rough sleeping site – you can do this by using a map to pinpoint the exact location and then providing a written description of the location
- Details of the time that the rough sleeper has been seen at the location
- Any information about the rough sleeper that will help find them (gender, approximate age, what the person looks like, what they are wearing)
Any details provided by you are sent to the local authority or outreach service for the area, to help them find the individual and connect them to support.
We fund an external company to provide specialist services to rough sleepers within the Epping Forest district. They deliver outreach support to those sleeping rough, by visiting them and offering appropriate advice and assistance.
Our opening hours are 9am to 5pm from Monday to Thursday, and 9am to 4:45pm on Friday.
- Telephone 01992 564165 in office hours
- Telephone 01992 564000 in an emergency out of hours
Our rough sleeping services and initiatives
We have a multi-agency approach to helping people who are sleeping rough. We work together to provide the accommodation and support that they require to meet their needs and prevent them from returning to the streets. Below are details of support we offer.
- Cold weather provision
Nobody needs to sleep rough in the district during cold weather. Temporary shelter is made available for rough sleepers when the weather forecast is predicted to be zero degrees or below for three consecutive nights, as recommended by the Government as good practice.
Our Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) aims to get rough sleepers off the streets during cold spells by providing emergency accommodation.
- Churches Homeless Emergency Support Scheme (CHESS)
We have an arrangement with CHESS, which has a night shelter based in Chelmsford. CHESS provides an outreach service to visit rough sleepers in our district, offering advice and assistance.
- Essex Young Peoples Project (EYPP)
We work with EYPP providing temporary accommodation to young homeless people in the district. This is done in partnership with Essex County Council.
Access to advice services
Here are some useful links to organisations offering help and advice:
- Essex County Council Health and Social Care
- Citizens Advice Bureau
- The Peabody Trust
- Epping Forest Foodbank
- Essex National Probation Service
- North Essex Mental Health Partnership
- Multi-Agency Public Protection Panel Arrangements (MAPPA)
- Open Road – Drug and Alcohol Services
- Epping Forest Housing Aid Scheme (EFHAS)
This scheme is run by voluntary organisations. It provides damage deposit guarantees to homeless applicants to help access private rented accommodation.
- Rental Loan Scheme
This scheme compliments the EFHAS scheme to help with a loan for a rough sleeper’s first month’s rent. The interest free loan is repayable over an agreed period.
- Spend to Save
Under this scheme, assistance is given in the form of a loan and/or payment of the landlord refundable deposit on behalf of the tenant.
- Housing Association Leasing Direct (HALD)
This initiative refers homeless people to properties run by Notting Hill Genesis Housing Association. The Council pay a yearly management fee to provide accommodation.
- Preventing Repossession Fund
This fund provides loans to people in both rented and privately-owned accommodation to help avoid homelessness through eviction or repossession. These loans are given to applicants prepared to take action on debt advice.
- Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP)
These are payments offered to private tenants to help with temporary rent arrears that may lead to homelessness.
- Family Mosaic Peabody Trust Trailblazer Scheme
This scheme provides a case-worker who delivers intensive support to people threatened with homelessness.
If you become homeless outside of office hours and you are unable to make your own short-term arrangements until the next working day, you can contact us out of hours by:
- Telephone 01992 564000
We will be on call to give you appropriate advice and assistance depending on your circumstances.