Rough sleeping

If there is no other immediate option available for the client, then practical advice should be given on safety and keeping warm when sleeping out.

This content applies to Scotland

Advising rough sleepers

Information should be given about resources such as day centres, outreach teams, soup runs and soup kitchens in the area. Help should be given with looking at other housing options as soon as possible.

Some local authorities or voluntary agencies may produce a directory of services for street homeless people.

Practical advice for people sleeping out

Sleeping out is obviously best avoided as it can be dangerous. If the client has no other option, the following points should be discussed:

  • The client should try to find a sheltered place. Wearing layers of thin clothing and using a sleeping bag and blankets can help to protect against the cold, and it would be best to avoid sleeping directly on the ground by, for example, sleeping on layers of cardboard.

  • It is usually safer to sleep where there are other people around.

  • There may be local places that are sympathetic to people staying there for shelter. Local hostels and organisations that have outreach workers may have information on these.

Last updated: 29 December 2014