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The support available to rough sleepers in Southend has recently increased as a result of a new, government funded rough sleeping initiative.


Rough sleepers can be referred (and self-referred) to our newly expanded outreach team by visiting Upon receiving a Streetlink referral, our outreach officers will visit the  person and support them to access accommodation and support from services such as HARP, and the Council. This could include physical/mental health and drug and alcohol support too. You can also encourage rough sleepers to self-refer to Streetlink or to approach HARP’s Bradbury Day Centre on 103-107 York Road, Southend on Sea, SS1 2DL.



Anyone homeless or at risk of becoming homeless can contact the council’s Housing Solutions Team for advice by calling 01702 215002 or by visiting the Civic Centre on Victoria Avenue.  If eligible for assistance and they are homeless or at risk of homelessness within the next 56 days, the team will work with the applicant to put a personal housing plan in place.


Homeless charity Shelter can also offer advice via phone or online chat, and provide a range of useful information regarding housing & homelessness on their website:


The Council’s Allocations Policy for social housing can be found here and a summary ‘scheme guide’ can be found here. The scheme guide includes:

  • Criteria for joining the register (page 5)

  • How we decide which ‘Band’ of priority an applicant will be put into (page 6 – 9)

  • Local connection (page 10)

Since 2009 the Council has operated a ‘Choice Based Lettings’ scheme, which means that rather than directly matching applicants to properties, available social housing is advertised on our website, and applicants can ‘bid’ (express an interest) in the properties they would like to be considered for.

The Choice Based Lettings system runs on a weekly cycle from 00:01 each Wednesday to 23:59 each Sunday.   The shortlist for each property is not set until the cycle ends, so an applicant’s final position will be the same regardless of when during the cycle they placed their bid.  The property is offered to the ‘bidder’ in the highest band, who has been in that band for the longest amount of time.



People may beg or sleep rough as a result of a number of issues, which can often include physical or mental health issues. ​Find out more about the local mental health services available from Southend-on-Sea Borough Council



Not everyone on the streets suffers from drug or alcohol addictions, but this is often a common part of their complex needs which requires professional help. 

Addictions can involve drugs and/or alcohol and often exist in combination with other health and wellbeing issues and require treatment by specialist services and organisations in Southend.


Southend Treatment and Recovery Service (STARS) provides help and advice as well as structured interventions for individuals over the age of 18 who have issues with substance misuse in a friendly, supportive, non-judgemental setting.


Find out more here

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