How we help non-UK nationals who are sleeping rough
51% of people sleeping rough across London are non-UK nationals
Thames Reach provides a range of outreach services to people sleeping rough in London and Surrey. We know that sleeping rough is damaging and dangerous and the purpose of our outreach services is to provide these people with a route off the streets.
In the year 2018/19 the Greater London Authority CHAIN database recorded around 51% of people sleeping rough across London as being nationals of a state other than the UK. This group does not have access to many of the accommodation and support options that are open to UK nationals and, as a result, they tend to spend longer sleeping rough and are more likely to die on the streets.
Establishing immigration status means that people can then establish entitlement to support. Our outreach staff are not qualified to provide immigration advice and where we are working with people with unclear immigration status, we will encourage them to seek appropriate independent advice from advisers and organisations who are approved by the Office of Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), and who will ensure that they fully understand and consent to any necessary information sharing. This means that we do not share personal information with the Home Office, but instead refer to appropriate agencies for specialist advice and support.
We believe that people sleeping rough should be entitled to the protection of society, regardless of their nationality or immigration status, and we will continue to work actively with local authority services (such as safeguarding and child protection), and other statutory agencies where this is justified by the risk to the individual, other people sleeping rough, members of the public or staff.