At any one time, there are between 20 and 35 rough sleepers in Hull. These people don’t have a place to stay, so they are forced to sleep on the streets. You may have seen a couple on your travels around the city centre and the surrounding areas. You may also have wondered what there is that you can do. The answer? Quite a lot.

Making conversation A simple smile and a “hello” as you walk past a rough sleeper can do a lot for that person’s wellbeing. Perhaps you’ll be the only person to acknowledge them all day, and that goes a long way. Engaging and interacting with an individual demonstrates to them that you care. Why not take a few minutes out of your day to chat with them? You may learn something about their current situation that surprises you, and you’ll be better equipped to take further action to help them once you’re informed.

Signposting If you’re concerned about a person’s wellbeing, there are a few services that you can get in contact with. For one, you can give us a call on our outreach number: 07960 016762. Emmaus also has an excellent outreach programme that you can use. Live outside of Hull? Streetlink is a nationwide charity that can put you or the rough sleeper in contact with the right people. www.emmaus.org.uk www.streetlink.org.uk

Do I give money? We believe that it is an entirely personal choice whether or not to give money to rough sleepers. Obviously, money can help an individual, but it might be worthwhile opening a conversation up with the person to see what they actually need. You may find that they just want a hot drink and something to eat. They could tell you that they need toiletries or sanitary products. By engaging with them in the first place, you can discover exactly what they need and how you can help them. It’s sometimes not practical to dish out loose change from your purse.

If you are worried about a rough sleeper, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’ll be able to signpost the individual to the plethora of helpful services out there and work towards getting them out of a rough sleeping situation.