A NEW guide directing homeless people to support services has been launched in Reading.
The Council has worked with a partnership of charities and statutory organisations to produce the Street Support Reading Guide which is available as a leaflet or online. The leaflet was sponsored by the Reading Central and Abbey Quarter Business Improvement Districts (BID).
The handy paper guide helps people who are homeless to find places which offer accommodation, housing advice, drug and alcohol support, health care, food and other support. The online guide can be found at www.streetsupport.net/reading.
The Reading Homelessness Partnership is made up of charities and statutory organisations which are working together to end rough sleeping and homelessness in the borough.
Reading has signed up to the national Street Support Network which gives a wide range of advice related to homelessness in the area and answers some commonly asked questions about how to find help in Reading.
The guide provides urgent advice for people on the street with information such as where to find a bed for the night, where to get food, how to obtain medical help and much more. The Street Support Reading online platform, www.streetsupport.net/reading, provides wider details of organisations in Reading that support people who are homeless or vulnerable to homelessness.
The website also provides professionals and members of the public with information to signpost vulnerable people to the right support services, as well as blogs about local news and projects. The online platform is under development and will continue to grow. Plans are under way to include ways the public can give help to groups who work closely with homeless people in Reading.
The leaflet and website give advice to people who are concerned about someone sleeping rough. They can be referred to local services via https://www.streetlink.org.uk/ by calling 0300 500 0914 or by downloading the StreekLink app, which also lists local support services.
Cllr John Ennis, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Housing, said:
“This guide contains essential information for people who find themselves homeless and sleeping rough in Reading.
“The Council invests in comprehensive support services for people sleeping rough and there are a wealth of excellent community organisations and charities also offering help in the town.
“The Street Support Network website and Reading guide brings details of all those services together to help people find the support they need quickly.”