Rough Sleeper and Homelessness

Homelessness Rough Sleepers

Rough Sleeper

What should I do if I find someone sleeping rough?

Should you find someone sleeping rough within the district please contact StreetLink.

StreetLink is the national service set up to enable rough sleepers are connected with the support they need. There are three ways that you can contact StreetLink to tell them about a rough sleeper:

  1. Call 0300 500 0914. This is a free phone number and lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  2. Visit and click ‘Tell us about a rough sleeper@ and fill in as many details as possible.
  3. Download the mobile app (Available for free from the iTunes and Google Play stores) and follow the same steps as the website.

Any details you may provide about the rough sleeper will be sent to both the housing options team at the City Council and to Trinity Winchester, the local day centre providing support for the homeless, who will aim to make direct contact the rough sleeper in order to provide relevant advice and assistance. A few days later StreetLink will follow the case up with the City Council and can provide you with an update.

Please remember that you do not need to approach anyone rough sleeping directly.
You can also contact the Housing Options Team at the City Council directly during office hours 9.00am to 5.00pm in the following ways:

Face to face with a Housing Options Officer at our drop in Triage Service based in the Customer Service Centre, via email or by telephoning the duty line on 01962 848 163.

Housing Options & Homelessness Service

Housing Options Service

The Housing Options Service provides information, assistance and advice to help you to resolve your housing situation by keeping you in your home or by helping you to find alternative accommodation.

Homelessness service

The Homelessness service is an emergency service, and we have a duty to help only those people who meet strict criteria but we will always try to help you to avoid becoming homeless in the first instance. The process will involve an Interview, Investigation and Decision.

Preventing homelessness
There are lots of different services in place to help you to stay in your current home if you would like to explore these options then click on the attachment at the bottom of this page. If you cant stay in your home the next option is to look for a new home again, you can find more information in the attachment at the bottom of this page. You may have more options than you think.

Still threatened with homelessness? If you have considered these options and still believe you could become homeless, you may be entitled to our assistance. We can only usually help you if you have a ‘connection to Winchester’. You have a connection if you have:

  •  Lived in the areas covered by Winchester City Council map (see attachment at end of page) for at least 6 of the last 12 months; or
  •  You have lived with the Winchester district for at least 3 of the last 5 years.
  •  You have a parent, brother or sister who has lived within the Winchester district for at least 5 years
  •  You have permanent employment within the Winchester district.

Contact Us:

You can contact us during office hours 9.00am to 5.00pm in the following ways:

Face to face with a Housing Options Officer at our drop in Triage Service based in the Customer Service Centre 
Telephone: The Duty Line 01962 848 163
Telephone: The Customer Service Centre 01962 840 222
Should you require emergency accommodation outside of normal working hours contact our Central Control team on: 01962 855 335

Preventing Homelessness Strategy 2014-2019

The Council is required under the terms of the Homelessness Act 2002 to produce a Homelessness Strategy. A new 5 year Preventing Homelessness Strategy has been adopted which reflects current priorities and best practice trends in Housing Options services.

The consultation on this strategy commenced with a multi-agency workshop event in June 2013 which examined the effectiveness of existing approaches to homelessness and highlighted gaps in provision and emerging priorities. The detail of this consultation event, workshop outcomes, resulting questionnaire, peer review continuous improvement plan and statistical evidence can be found in the Consultation and Review of Homelessness Report with the overarching themes and needs coming from the report being developed into a ‘top ten’ priorities for consideration across this strategy.

The Preventing Homelessness Strategy 2014-2019 can be found below in attachments.

The Consultation and Review of Homelessness Report can be found below in attachments.

Spare Change for Real Change

Spare Change for Real Change donation box

Winchester’s diverted giving scheme ‘Spare Change for Real Change’ was relaunched on 10 June. The campaign aims to encourage Winchester residents and visitors to give their spare change to two dedicated local charities, Winchester Churches Nightshelter and Trinity Winchester, instead of handing money to street-beggars. Winchester Churches Nightshelter and Trinity Winchester offer support for people to get back into long-term accommodation and help rebuild their lives. All the donations through the campaign are used to improve the charities’ services for those sleeping rough.

Look out for the red house-shaped donation boxes at shops and businesses in Winchester. A list of participating businesses may be found at People may also donate by texting REAL17 £2/£5/£10 to 70070.

Other Useful Websites:


Citizens Advice Bureau

Money Advice Service

Payday Loans - Know your rights