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Added 25 March 2024

Who is this document for?

Frontline staff and managers working in rough sleeping outreach services.

Why is it relevant?

Rough sleeping outreach services can be incredibly diverse in the way they are designed and delivered across England. As a result, there can be a lack of consistency in the way people sleeping rough are supported.

In January 2024, Homeless Link launched a set of principles for rough sleeping outreach services. This guidance builds on these principles, detailing how they can be applied in practice, with suggestions for different approaches based on rural/urban settings, and good practice case studies.

What are the key takeaways?

  • Outreach services should tailor their approach according to the needs of people sleeping rough in their area, and work alongside partner agencies.
  • Infrastructure should be in place to allow effective, timely, and purposeful interventions.
  • A person-centred, trauma-informed, and harm-reduction approach to support should be used.
  • Those facing higher barriers into services, should be consistently supported by the outreach team, for as long as is needed.
  • Support and/or advice should be provided to anyone who states they are rough sleeping, regardless of verification status.
  • Outreach workers should be supported through regular debriefs, reflective practice, and adequate training.