Beware of scammers

We are aware of an online scam going around on social media.

It claims to be able to make your housing application a priority and give you the right to buy after 3 years.

We only ever allocate homes according to our policy. Every application goes through a series of checks to make sure it is valid and correctly prioritised.

Find out more

Help rough sleepers

Tower Hamlets Council works with a range of partners including homelessness charities, specialist substance misuse and mental health organisations, and community groups to ensure rough sleepers are provided with appropriate support, and an offer of a route off the streets. 

What to do if you are rough sleeping or are aware of somebody rough sleeping 

If you are rough sleeping or are aware of somebody rough sleeping, you can either: 
Alert the local authority and outreach services by making a referral to Streetlink online 

Use the Housing Options Finder to find out what help there is available from the Council.

You can also search for local hostels and shelters

Ways to help someone rough sleeping  in Tower Hamlets 

Rough sleeping and homelessness is an issue up and down the country. While the amount of people sleeping rough in Tower Hamlets is low due to the hard work of outreach and other services both in and out of the council, this doesn’t necessarily mean that homelessness isn’t something that residents and the council should not worry about. 

Here are a few tips on how residents can help homeless people in the area. 

1. Streetlink

You can help someone sleeping rough get the support they need or even seek help for yourself from local services by making an alert through StreetLink.

Operating in England and Wales, StreetLink is a vital platform that enables you to submit an alert about someone sleeping rough to outreach teams so that they can locate and provide them with the support they need.

This includes anyone who is sleeping outside, preparing to bed down, or sleeping somewhere not designed for habitation, such as a car. People sleeping rough can also submit an alert to get help for themselves.

Worried about someone sleeping rough?

  1. Locate - send a pin of where you've seen someone sleeping rough.
  2. Describe - Give as many details as possible to help services identify them
  3. Submit - Your alert will be triaged and where necessary passed onto local outreach teams who will seek to find and support the person concerned  

Visit StreetLink to make an alert.

2. Let the council know

Make sure you are aware of the council’s homelessness and housing options services.

If someone is homeless or sleeping rough, they can contact the council to find out what housing options are available to them. Once in touch with us, they can access useful help and advice.

3. Invest your spare pennies and pounds into charities that deal with homelessness

It might seem controversial, but pressing a pound into the hand of a homeless person for them to buy a hot drink won’t help them.

Rough sleepers are among the most excluded people in society. Many have been in care as children or in prison as adults and they often suffer with mental and physical health issues. Your spare change won’t fix these problems.

It would be better to donate to charities such as Providence Row, and bigger national charities like Shelter, Centrepoint and Crisis.

All of these charities campaign long and hard with the government to explore ways of alleviating these issues. These charities also support homeless people – training them for work, providing resource centres, housing and feeding them.

Your money will go much further if you give it to these charities.

4. Buy only from licensed Big Issue sellers

The Big Issue is an independent charity that offers people who are homeless the opportunity to earn their own money. If you buy a copy, make sure you only use licensed vendors.

5. Volunteer your time and help people suffering homelessness

Volunteering to help people suffering homelessness is very satisfying. How you can help depends very much on your experience and the way to do this is to contact one of the homeless charities and offer your time. You may have specific skills that can be used but often it is about just being there – a friendly ear that doesn’t judge.

Whatever you want to do, your contribution can have a real impact on the people who may be facing sleeping on the streets.

You can contact Thames Reach or Providence Row to find out how you can help locally.

6. Don’t demonise homeless people! This could happen to anyone

People sleeping rough are no different to anyone else. They’ve just had a hard time in their lives and are extremely vulnerable. Demonising them doesn’t help.

Homeless Link has a page of research which shows what is happening on the ground, and identifies what is working and what isn’t when it comes to tackling homelessness. Have a look at that page and familiarise yourself with this.