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London Street Rescue

Sleeping rough is dangerous, homeless individuals face violence and intimidation on the streets. They are exposed to harsh cold and wet weather conditions, and can experience serious health problems.

Thames Reach’s London Street Rescue service operates across seven London boroughs and helps those who are sleeping rough to find routes away from the street.  The team receive the majority of their referrals from Thames Reach’s Rapid Response Team, who are out every night of the year.

London Street Rescue work flexibly to reach London’s most vulnerable. The work starts with an assessment to identify any support needs.  The team can help to obtain identification documents, including those with no recourse to public funds, apply for welfare benefits, open a bank account, give advice, and signpost to other services while exploring appropriate accommodation options.

Poor mental and physical health and drug and alcohol problems are common, so many rough sleepers are also helped to access health services.

London Street Rescue’s actions can be a catalyst for change in people’s lives. By finding them accommodation and helping them address their health needs, former rough sleepers can take the next steps to get their lives back on track.

Some rough sleepers may initially refuse an offer of help but a key part of the Thames Reach ethos is that we never give up on people, and so the service works with individuals for as long as it takes to get them somewhere safe and warm.

London Street Rescue is funded by the Greater London Authority as part of the Mayor’s programme to end rough sleeping in London.

If you see someone sleeping rough, you can make a referral via the Streetlink website, and services such as the Rapid Response Team and London Street Rescue will go out to help the individual.

Read about other Thames Reach outreach services