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Forest Hill Rough Sleepers
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Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2017
Post: #1
17-03-2017 11:15 PM

I have been so saddened recently by the increasing numbers of people begging and sleeping rough in Forest Hill. I feel particularly sorry for the woman who is often sitting in the station tunnel. I would like to know what support/advice is available locally that I could direct her to or help her to access. Does anyone know what practical help is available (if any) locally that she might find useful?

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Posts: 7
Joined: Sep 2015
Post: #2
18-03-2017 12:31 AM

Hi. I completely agree with you. It's sadly a very similar story all over London and beyond. I see a lot more people on the streets now than i did a year ago.

I think there's a shelter in Lewisham and there's Streetlink, which is a number to call to report someone you're concerned about. Here's the website:

I haven't met the lady in the subway but my partner has mentioned her and he bought her a bag of food a couple of days ago. It's good to know others, like yourself, are looking out for her too.

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Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2017
Post: #3
18-03-2017 06:33 PM

You are absolutely correct, the best thing you can do to help a rough sleeper is to contact Streetlink, the person then gets logged and action has to be taken to help them. I believe Thamesreach runs the outreach service for Lewisham currently, and there is also a Lewisham number
Lewisham: 020 8778 0877.

It might seem harsh, but you should not give support that will help sustain someone's rough sleeping, or money that might be spent on feeding an addiction, you will be compounding their problems and make it more difficult for them in the long run, ‘cruel to be kind’ as they say. As you have done before, if you wish to give them something, make it a gift of food or a warm drink, but more importantly if you can find time to speak to them, hear their story, and point them towards help to get off the streets.

Homelessness and rough sleeping has increased by 16 per cent in the last year. Many rough sleepers have no recourse to public funds. You might find this article of interest:

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Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2017
Post: #4
18-03-2017 11:11 PM

Thanks very much for the helpful advice. I have logged the details with StreetLink.

The BBC article was also very helpful. I can see how offering time, food and warm socks/drinks is a constructive way to respond.

The stats are just appalling, but like you say we could all make a small difference.

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