You are at risk of rough sleeping if you are homeless and have no family or friends who can offer support, and no money to find somewhere to live.
The stark reality of rough sleeping is evident in the damaging impact it has on communities and the harm it causes to people sleeping rough. Findings from studies carried out on rough sleeping indicate that the average life expectancy of someone sleeping rough on the streets is about 45 years, which is markedly lower than for people who are not homeless.
Several reasons could lead a person to sleeping rough on the streets. Amongst other issues, these may include negative life experiences like a relationship breakdown or falling into financial difficulties. Other factors, like being an ex-military personnel, drug or alcohol misuse and mental health issues also contribute to rough sleeping in communities. Additionally, studies have indicated a clear link between those that have previously been in care or prison and rough sleeping, as a disproportionately high number of people from these groups end up sleeping rough on the streets.
To tackle rough sleeping in our district, we have a specialised Rough Sleeper Initiative Team with navigators who provide outreach services, and every day, hands-on support to rough sleepers in our district to get off the streets.
We collaborate with charitable and voluntary sector organisations to help support rough sleepers in our area to address their issues. The Rough Sleeping Initiative Team actively engage with rough sleepers to ensure they receive relevant support to get off the streets, for example, health services, accommodation, and training for employment purposes. We also work closely with the local police and accommodation providers like the YMCA toward ending rough sleeping in the borough.
If you would like to alert us to a rough sleeper in your community, please visit Streetlink to make a report.
Streetlink is a service set up to help to reduce rough sleeping by empowering members of the public to connect people sleeping rough, with the local services that can support them.
Local Day Centres and Support Services
This is an emergency accommodation service delivered by our partners – YMCA Dulverton Group, in conjunction with the countywide P2i scheme, set up to help single 16 to 24-year olds in or district experiencing homelessness. The service provides a room, meal, and shower facilities in the home of a volunteer host.
Call 01278 726 040 to access this service or the YMCA team based in Bridgwater – Telephone: 01934 629787, 07891 809004, 0333 2001616 ext 3402 or 07713 215176; Email: Joe.Heslop@ymca-dg.org or Laura.Penrose@ymca-dg.org.
Visit the Nightstop website.
This service provides free, confidential treatment and support across Somerset to anyone who is experiencing difficulties with their substance use or is affected by someone else's. SDAS provide their service from multiple locations across the county.
The Taunton Support Service is based at 10 Cannon Street, Taunton, TA1 1SN. Please call 0300 303 8788 if you would like to access support or visit the Turning Point website for more information.
Severe Weather Emergency Provision (SWEP)
SWEP is a provision made available to people sleeping rough during periods of severe and extreme weather conditions. Using the MET Office website as a reference point, when temperatures are forecasted to be 0° Celsius or below, over three consecutive nights, this provision is activated, and we may offer temporary accommodation to those who are sleeping rough within the borough.
To access this provision, you must be a verified rough sleeper in our district and be known to our Rough Sleeper Initiative Team.
Contact the Housing Options team on 0300 304 8000 for more information.