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Housing advice

Rough sleepers

What is rough sleeping?

Rough sleeping is the most visible form of homelessness. It is dangerous and seriously detrimental to a person's physical and mental health.

People who sleep rough may be seen in shop doorways, in bus shelters, in car parks and in other public places but often people will sleep rough out of sight, bedding down at different times of the day or night, moving from place to place. People who sleep rough may not know about the support that is available to them

Support for rough sleepers in Cheshire West and Chester

In Cheshire West and Chester there are many services to support rough sleepers including those provided by charities, voluntary organisations, and faith groups.

Forfutures delivers the homeless support service for us. They provide a point of contact for the public and other local agencies to report rough sleepers 24 hours a day.

The Outreach team responds by locating the rough sleeper and engaging with them, to give the support and advice they need. Direct access to emergency beds is offered as well as support to find accommodation that’s right for them and will improve their future away from life on the streets.

Forfutures works in close partnership with the Police, community safety, voluntary and faith groups, and local services to ensure that those new to the streets are contacted swiftly. Further information can be found on the Forfutures website.

Tell us about a rough sleeper

If you have concerns about someone rough sleeping or about to rough sleep, please telephone Forfutures on 0808 175 3595, option four (24 hours).

You can also visit the StreetLink website. StreetLink is a government-funded service that enables members of the public to alert local authorities in England and Wales about rough sleepers in their area, so that vulnerable people can be connected to the help they need.

If you are a rough sleeper

Anyone rough sleeping should contact Forfutures or Housing Options as soon as possible for support.

At risk of becoming homeless

Anyone who is threatened with becoming homeless or threatened with homelessness within 56 days can make an application for assistance to the council under the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017.

We have a duty to assess your case and agree a personalised plan with you and provide assistance to try and prevent your homelessness. You can contact the housing options team by telephone or by completing the self-referral form:

Self-referral form
  • Telephone: 0808 175 3595

If you are actually homeless the council will help you find alternative accommodation or may offer you temporary accommodation if you have an apparent priority need. You may be in priority need because you have a mental illness or physical disability. We will also need to establish if you are eligible (have a right to stay indefinitely in the UK), not intentionally homeless, and whether you have a local connection. If you do not have a local connection you may be referred back to another local authority where you do.