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Rough sleeping

Help for rough sleepers in Guildford

Guildford has many services to help rough sleepers. These include:

  • homelessness outreach and support service
  • day service
  • night shelter
  • hostels and supported housing projects
  • a range of services providing specialist support  
  • agencies providing general and specialist advice including money and debt advice
  • support with voluntary work and access education, training and employment opportunities
  • services to improve health and wellbeing

What we do

We commission the Homeless Outreach and Support Team (HOST) to provide support to:

  • rough sleepers
  • people at risk of rough sleeping

HOST is a point of contact to report potential rough sleepers. They respond to reports by finding the rough sleeper and offering help.

How can you help a rough sleeper?

We welcome any information that helps us to help those who need it.

If you see a person you believe may be rough sleeping you can:

  • contact the HOST team directly via email or call 01483 302495
  • use Streetlink below (the national rough sleeper help line)

Visit Streetlink website to find out more (opens new window)

What happens next?

Our HOST team usually responds to reports of rough sleepers within 24 hours. We contact the person in need. Once they have agreed to accept our support, we work with each person to:

  • offer help
  • understand their problems

HOST works with a range of agencies to give people access to services that suit their needs. They also help with getting them into to the Number Five Hub. (opens new window) This offers short term emergency accommodation. 

Guildford residents have priority for Number Five Hub. The beds are open to anyone in need, if a bed is available. HOST then works with people to secure a move into longer term accommodation.

The help offered to rough sleepers depends on:

  • each person's circumstances
  • their support needs

Challenges we face

Challenges in finding longer term accommodation

Private rented accommodation can be expensive for people.

This means that rough sleepers who come to Guildford find their options to stay here limited.

HOST finds opportunities available, if it is safe to do so, the offer will be to refer the person back to their home area. This means the person has more options the opportunity to get the help they need.

HOST will always give advice and help to anyone found rough sleeping in Guildford.

Sometimes people refuse offers of help

When this happens, HOST and other agencies in Guildford who work with rough sleepers, do not give up.

Homelessness is a complex issue and there are many reasons why someone may refuse help and choose to remain on the streets.

We provide reassurance that people are not left on the streets with no help. The door to support is always left open.

Street begging

It is likely that any person seen begging in Guildford will be someone that HOST is already aware of. Find out more on our Street begging page.

Severe Weather Emergency Provision (SWEP) for rough sleepers

During winter we work with local providers of accommodation to make sure help is available. SWEP operates when specific weather happens and then stops when conditions improve.

SWEP accommodation is for anyone. This includes:

  • people not eligible for other services
  • people with no access to public funds
  • for SWEP enquiries, please contact the HOST team by emailing or call 01483 302495

Homelessness emergency

If you find yourself in a homelessness emergency out of hours, call 01344 949371.