Rough sleeping

Concerned about someone?

Rough sleeping is sometimes seen as part of life in a big city. However, the reality and effects of rough sleeping are clear – it can be harmful for those living on the streets and have a negative impact on their neighbourhoods. The average life expectancy of someone sleeping rough is currently only 47 years.

There are many reasons why someone may be sleeping rough. These include mental health issues, drug or alcohol misuse and economic difficulties. A disproportionate number of people sleeping rough have also been in care or in prison.

The Council’s Street Population Outreach Team works in partnership with the local police, voluntary organisations and housing providers to address this problem. We actively go out and contact rough sleepers and help them to receive support including accommodation, health services, employment or training.

We do however take a firm stance with those who are causing a nuisance within the community, for example where there is noise, littering, fouling or antisocial behaviour such as street drinking and aggressive begging.

Report it

If you see someone sleeping rough in the borough, you can call the Street Population Outreach Team on 020 7341 5210 or 020 7361 3008, 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and via email Streetoutreach@rbkc.gov.uk.

You can also report a rough sleeper via the national website Streetlink or by calling 0300 500 0914. Streetlink will give the details you provide to the local authority or outreach service for the area in which you have seen the person. The aim is to help the local authority find the individual and connect them to support. If you are concerned about a person under 18, please inform the police. Streetlink also has an app, which can be downloaded on your mobile phone or tablet.  

Antisocial behaviour and drinking in the street

Not all beggars are homeless. The experience of the Council’s Street Population Outreach Team is that the majority of people begging in the borough have accommodation and many use the money they make from begging to fund alcohol and drug habits.

If you are concerned about rough sleepers who are causing harassment, for example by persistent or aggressive begging you should report it to the Council's Street Population Outreach Team on 020 7341 5210 or email streetoutreach@rbkc.gov.uk.

We take the issue of antisocial behaviour very seriously and work with the police and the Council’s enforcement departments.

We will issue persistent or aggressive beggars with a warning letter, followed by a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO). Breaching the conditions of a CBO may result in a prison sentence. You can also report it to your Safer Neighbourhoods Police Team.

The Council asks residents and visitors to consider the consequences of giving money to beggars. If you would like to help we would encourage you to donate to organisations that work with vulnerable and homeless adults in the borough.

Local day centres and services for rough sleepers

Glass Door

The charity provides emergency winter shelters and support services to people affected by homelessness. The emergency shelters provide hot supper and breakfast. Advice and support is provided all year round to anyone in need – advice can be received at the shelters, or during the day time.

Daytime support is available at:

  • Chelsea Methodist Church
  • 155a King’s Road
  • SW3 5TX.

Support is available on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am to 1pm.

Lunch is available as a take-out service at 1pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Visit the Glass Door website for more information.
Contact number: 020 7351 4948.

St Cuthbert’s Drop-in Centre

  • Takeaway lunches provided Monday to Friday 12pm to 1pm 
  • Casework support is available from Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 12pm to 2pm.
Nova

The charity helps people move forward with their skills, confidence and employability. The Team will help residents move into education, build skills in Maths, English and IT, and open doors through volunteering and participation. They listen, offer advice and support to help individual’s achieve their personal goals.

Visit the Nova website for more information.

240 Project

Centre offering a range of creative arts and health groups, also support with life skills, independent living and budgeting. 

  • Address: operating in the Latymer Community Church,116 Bramley Rd, London, W10 6SU
  • Drop-in Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 11am to 4pm
  • Contact to book a place 0207 018 7540
  • Email: info@240project.org.uk

The Drug and Alcohol Wellbeing Services (DAWS)

Provides a range or support and treatment for people, and their families, affected by drugs and multiple substance misuse. Run by Blenheim and Turning Point. DAWS has produced an online Roads to Wellbeing map, showing activities and events in the local area.

Contact: 0208 960 5599 for Kensington and Chelsea, general line: 0330 303 80 80.

Alcohol Service Change Grow Live

Help for people who have difficulty with alcohol use or are affected by alcohol use.

Visit the Change Grow Live website for more details.

Contact number: 0800 014 7440

The Outreach Team can refer you to these services or you can call the numbers above. The Services can arrange for someone to meet you in a local venue.

Last updated: 16 June 2021