Are you concerned

Seen someone &

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Tell us about someone sleeping rough:

  • Online
  • Call Sheffield’s Street Outreach Team on 0800 066 5358 (free from landlines and mobiles)
  • Texting SOTS to 80800, followed by your message.

During evenings and weekends please phone Sheffield City Council’s out of hours housing solution service on 0800 7311 689. This can link people up with support services.

Worried about becoming homeless?

If you, or someone you know, is worried about becoming homeless please contact Sheffield City Council’s Housing advice and options line on 0114 273 5142.

In case of an emergency out of hours please call 0800 7311 689.

How else to respond

People often ask how they should respond to someone asking for money – they’ve said they don’t know what to do and feel guilty walking by.

Read our advice about giving money.

Show compassion

Some people on the streets tell us they appreciate it when people stop and talk to them.


  • Stopping to ask if someone is alright and whether they know about the help available for people on the street. Ask if they’d like you to contact Sheffield’s Street Outreach Team (contact details are above).
  • Having a chat. Treating people on the streets as human beings, without judgement, is important.
  • If you have the time and money, offer to buy them a cup of tea or a sandwich.

Report harassment

There are reports of a small number of people begging aggressively and/or harassing people for money.

If this happens, please report this to South Yorkshire Police by calling 101. Tell them:

  • What happened
  • Where
  • What time
  • As much as you remember about the person who harassed you

This behaviour is not representative of most people on the street who ask for money.

Give some time

Give time

Most charities that help the homeless and people who beg need volunteers. Find out more about the organisations in Sheffield.

Students: Contact your university, colleges and/or Students’ Union volunteering office.

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Get involved in the role you want:

Volunteers help with:

  • Outreach and engagement
  • Fundraising
  • Facilitating and/or supporting groups
  • Office-based work – to help projects run smoothly
  • Serving food and/or working in the kitchen
  • Talking to people at project venues
  • Taking people to appointments

Work flexibly

There is work with homeless people every day of the week and at different times of day. You can find a volunteering opportunity that fits in with other commitments. Training will be provided to help you build confidence and work safely.

Hear from our volunteers

Steph's story, Cathederal Archer Project

Get in touch

Give some money

Give money

Donate to a charity that helps people who beg and/or are homeless. This includes help with mental health and addictions.

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Giving to people who beg:

People who beg need support but giving money to them is not the answer.

Our advice is to give to a Sheffield charity that helps people make long-term, positive changes.

If you are giving money it’s worth knowing:

  • More than 95% of people who were begging in Sheffield between October 2016 and March 2017 said they needed money to support an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol.
  • Not everyone who begs is homeless – South Yorkshire Police previously spoke to 37 people who were begging in Sheffield and all but 8 had accommodation. Outreach workers can help those who don’t have somewhere to stay.
  • If you do give money then it’s important not to be judgemental about how it may be used.

Buy The Big Issue North

Vendors come from different backgrounds and can face various problems associated with poverty, including homelessness.

Vendors buy The Big Issue for £1.25 and sell it for £2.50, meaning each seller is working, not begging. You can read case studies about vendors and how selling the magazine is helping to turn their life around here.

Ways to help

Help in other ways

  • Tell us if you're worried about someone sleeping rough
  • Donate goods
  • Sign up to a host scheme
  • Spread the word about Help Us Help
  • Suggest your own ideas
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Tell us about someone sleeping rough

  • Online
  • Call Sheffield’s Street Outreach Team freefone number on 0800 066 5358.
  • Text SOT to 80800, followed by your message.

Donate Goods

Charities working with people on the street often need clothes, food and other goods. Please get in touch with them if you’re able to help.

Sign up to a host scheme

Depaul UK, a charity working in Sheffield, helps young people up to the age of 25 who are at risk of homelessness.

Volunteer hosts in Sheffield offer their spare rooms for a few nights a month to keep young people safe and off the streets. This prevents them from sleeping rough, "sofa surfing", or staying in unsuitable and unsafe accommodation.

Spread the word about Help Us Help

Please tell others about Help Us Help and the information and support we provide.

  • Let us know if you would like any Help Us Help posters and business cards, or to find out more
  • Use the hashtag #Helpushelp if posting on social media

Make a suggestion

Please let us know if you have any ideas about how to help people who are homeless and people who beg. There is already a strong network of agencies and projects working together in Sheffield but no one has a monopoly on good ideas or turning them into action.

Get in touch

A fresh start

A fresh start

Contact Sheffield’s drug and alcohol services for support with detoxing and rehabilitation.

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Join Sheffield's Recovery Community

Attend one of more than 43 self-help groups to deal with drug and alcohol issues. Groups run every day of the week – find out when.

Like the Sheffield Recovery Community Page on Facebook to find out how others have made a fresh start, and find out more about the support in Sheffield.

Watch people’s stories

Watch Sheffield Recovery Community’s video

Watch Mick Hartley’s story – the project manager of Sheffield Recovery Community

Get involved

Sheffield’s Recovery Community is supported by many different organisations including: DACT, START (Sheffield Treatment and Recovery Team), Phoenix House, SASS, the Jesus Centre, Addaction, User Voice, The Amy Winehouse Foundation, Archer Project, De Hood Boxing Gym, Families in Recovery, Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon

All of these organisations meet monthly to update information, promote and co-ordinate the recovery offer in Sheffield.

If you're in recovery, volunteer to help others

People in recovery can join a six month accredited training programme (1 day a week) and at the end of the course, they are offered a one year placement working in drug and alcohol services.

Find out more about the Ambassador Scheme by contacting Sheffield’s Non Opiate Service.

Help for people on the street

Help for people on the street

Every week, a number of early morning outreach sessions take place in the city centre to identify and support the people who are sleeping rough. As well as support with accommodation, Sheffield has a number of services which offer practical help and advice.

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Day-to-day support including food, drink & staying warm

Free food and drink is available seven days a week for people who are without accommodation or income. See list and map of places.

Services that are open on weekdays between 9am and 5pm also offer support to get accommodation, access healthcare, and provide advice and guidance on a range of issues and concerns useful to people who are homeless. The main services are Cathedral Archer Project and Ben’s Centre.

People who are homeless can get help with:

  • Food
  • Fresh clothing: many local charities that help the homeless have small supplies of fresh clothing.
  • Sanitary supplies: along with new underwear, sanitary towels and tampons are available at the Cathedral Archer Project and Ben’s Centre. 
  • Sleeping bags: These are available through a number of agencies including the Rough Sleeper Service, Ben’s Centre and the Cathedral Archer Project.
  • Sun cream: Overlooked but important on sunny days, available from the Big Issue, Ben’s Centre and the Cathedral Archer Project.
  • Dog food and healthcare: Supported by the RSPCA food and some health care for dogs is available through the Cathedral Archer Project and Ben’s Centre.


  • Places to relax and chat: all services engage people in conversation and are interested in how to help them move away from street life to more satisfying and healthy ways of living.
  • Showers and laundry: Ben’s Centre and the Cathedral Archer Project have showers with shower gels, shampoos, toothpaste and brushes. The Cathedral Archer Project also has a laundry and people who are rough sleeping can keep spare clothes and valuables in storage at the project.
  • Care of address and free telephone: posted mail remains important for medical, housing, financial and other documents and appointments. People living on the streets can use day services like Ben’s Centre and the Cathedral Archer Project as care-of addresses and also for free phone use to contact families or those important appointments or services.
  • Access to the internet: many services are easier to contact electronically and some only offer e-communication. This excludes people who cannot afford internet services or the gadgets needed for internet access. A number of services offer free access including the Cathedral Archer Project, Ben’s Centre and the Big Issue.

Access to Accommodation

Call the council’s Housing and Options line on 0114 273 6306 from Monday – Friday, 8.30am to 5pm.

In emergencies, during evenings and weekends, please phone: 0800 7311 689.

Everyone contacting the council for help and advice will receive support. This might include:

  • Help to prevent someone from becoming homeless
  • An assessment to determine if the council has a duty to find someone somewhere to stay
  • A referral to a service which offers support to look at things a person might find challenging, such as budgeting
  • A referral to a supported accommodation provider where support is on hand
  • Sign posting to services in the city who may be able to help
  • Support to register on the council housing register
  • Help to find private rented accommodation

The system is designed to help people away from homelessness and street life.

Extra help is available in freezing weather

Support for people who can’t access benefits as they have ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’

People with ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ are unable to claim most benefits, tax credits or council housing assistance.

ASSIST Sheffield provides support to destitute refused asylum seekers.

People who have No Recourse to Public Funds are able to access accommodation during extreme cold weather.

People with No Recourse to Public Funds may also receive help if they:

  • Have dependent children
  • Are victims of domestic violence
  • Are victims of trafficking

Extra help for rough sleepers during extreme cold weather

Overnight accommodation is offered to anyone who would be sleeping rough during times of extremely cold weather.

This includes crash pad accommodation and accommodation in hostels.

Anyone helped by this will be linked to the Street Outreach Team who will offer longer term support and help to secure housing.

The emergency accommodation is arranged by Sheffield City Council on 0114 273 6306 during office hours or 0800 7311 689 outside them.

If calling on someone’s behalf, please do this when you’re with the person as we’ll need to ask them a bit of information when offering emergency accommodation.

Access to Healthcare

Dental, nurse and GP surgeries can be accessed on a drop-in basis at the Cathedral Archer Project.

GP and nurse surgeries or appointments are also provided at the Salvation Army and Bevin Court hostels and other Supported Accommodation providers.

These clinics can provide routine tests to identify treatable illnesses and prevent illness and disease from getting worse.

Some of the other support services also tackle health issues by getting people involved in physical exercise or activities which help mental health.

Read more about health issues for people on the street.

Drug & Alcohol Services

Support and treatment is available for anyone in Sheffield experiencing drug and alcohol issues.

All services in Sheffield take self-referrals and are open access, meaning people can walk in and be seen that day. There are no waiting times.

The support given by services is tailored to each person and might include: one-to-one support, therapeutic help, medical help and rehabilitation.

Get help with alcohol

Help is available if you’re worried about your drinking or someone else’s.

Get help with drugs - Opiate Service, for anyone using heroin or other opiate based drugs:

Get help with drugs - Non Opiate Service

This service is for anyone using drugs such as cocaine, cannabis, new psychoactive substances and any other non-opiate based substances.

Call 0114 226 3000

Needle exchange:

Needle exchanges are available at the Opiate and Non-Opiate services. More than 14 pharmacies also provide a needle exchange. See where

Support groups

Addaction Sheffield provides support for adults to address offending behaviour relating to their substance misuse. They support people who are completing statutory orders and others who are attending voluntarily. They also offer a range of mutual aid groups and activities.

Call: 0114 253 6830

Address: 42 Sidney Street, Sheffield, S1 4RH

Sheffield Drug and Alcohol Co-ordination Team (DACT)

The above services are funded by Sheffield Drug and Alcohol Co-ordination Team (DACT).

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Local charities working with people on the street

Cathedral Archer Project - help homeless people achieve a better life through providing a wide range of support services.

Information on opening times and how to get involved - Find out how to get involved.


Ben’s Centre is “a place of sanctuary for the vulnerable”. A day centre and an outreach service for people who suffer from the negative impact of drugs or alcohol.

Information on opening times, how to support the Centre with donations, and how to get involved as a volunteer - Ben's Centre website


The Sunday Centre provides a safe, warm refuge for homeless and vulnerable people on Sundays – providing hot food and drinks, and offering guests the chance to socialise with others. They also help guests access information about other services that may benefit them.

Information on opening times, how to support the Centre with donations, and how to get involved as a volunteer - Sunday Centre website

Read more about the Sunday Centre


Addaction Sheffield - work with anyone over 18 who has a substance misuse issue which has led to involvement in the criminal justice system. Services are open to everyone, including people who are completing a statutory order.

Information on opening times, support groups and how to get involved in volunteering - Addaction Sheffield website


The Soup Run - Sheffield Churches Soup Kitchen is based on King Street and provides food, basic clothing and bedding and 1:1 support, 7 nights per week from 8-9pm, between September and May.

To get involved in donating or volunteering, contact 


Roundabout - Sheffield’s youth homeless charity has helped over 15,000 young people in the city since 1977, providing shelter, support and life skills to young people aged 16-24 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, along with a comprehensive programme of training allowing them to develop long term independent living skills which breaks the cycle of homelessness.

To get involved in donating, fundraising or volunteering - Roundabout website


Other useful contact information:

Sheffield Street Outreach Team - Contact 0800 066 5358 (free from landlines and mobiles) or text SOT to 80800, followed by your message. This service is provided by Framework.

Sheffield Housing Options line - Call the council’s Housing and Options line on 0114 273 6306 from Monday – Friday, 8.30am to 5pm. In emergencies, during evenings and weekends, please phone: 0800 7311 689.


Voluntary Action Sheffield - has information about volunteering opportunities in Sheffield.

Things we get asked

Things we get asked

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What’s the difference between rough sleeping and homelessness?

Rough Sleeping is the most visible sign of homelessness. Sleeping rough is where someone is totally roofless and has to sleep out on the streets.

Other people are classed as homeless but have somewhere to stay – either in temporary accommodation, some of which is provided by the council, or with family and friends, sometimes known as ‘sofa surfing’.

Other people classed as homeless remain in their own home but need to move out because it is unsuitable, overcrowded or they can no longer live there. This can be for a number of reasons such as the landlord giving them notice or circumstances change which means they can no longer afford the rent.


How many people sleep rough in Sheffield?

The last official count of rough sleepers in Sheffield – reported to Government in December 2016 – showed 15 people sleeping rough.

The numbers fluctuate at different times of the year and sometimes people will sleep on the street when they have a place to stay.

These people were counted by outreach teams from the city’s rough sleeper service who are in the city centre at night and early morning to find people and offer support.

Other people beg for money on the streets in Sheffield but have got somewhere to stay and are not sleeping rough. Some are involved in other street activities such as drinking.

It is important that help is offered to all these people. This is provided by lots of different organisations in the city working together.


How many people are begging in Sheffield?

A recent survey in Sheffield counted 189 individuals begging over a 6 month period. All of the people on the list were known to services in Sheffield. Offers of accommodation and other support, such as medical treatment, were made if appropriate to do so. Many had existing accommodation though not all were using their accommodation.


Are people who beg homeless?

Not necessarily.

South Yorkshire Police previously spoke to 37 people who were begging in Sheffield and all but 8 had accommodation. Outreach workers can help those who don’t have somewhere to stay.

A survey in Sheffield found most people begging in the city centre had somewhere to stay.


Does giving money help or hinder people?

People who beg need support and giving money to them doesn’t help them to get or use the support on offer. There is a real concern that if people are begging it is less likely that they will seek support to live a better life.

Many campaigns to support people who beg give a very clear message that giving money is helping someone to die prematurely. The reason they make this claim is that the few published surveys on what money from begging is spent on all say that begging funds drug use. At the same time those begging often withdraw from medical and rehabilitation support leading to a downward spiral of poor health and low motivation to live a better life.

In Sheffield most agencies working with homeless people and those who beg agree that giving money directly to someone on the street is unhelpful.

Our advice is to give to a charity that helps people make long-term, positive changes.


What do people spend the money on?

Different people spend money on different things, and it’s not possible to know this. But giving to the charities who help people who are homeless and or/begging means you know where your money will be spent.


Why do immigrants take priority over local people?

They don’t. Everyone’s housing needs are assessed the same way. Read Sheffield City Council’s housing allocations policy


What help is there for prison leavers?

People are offered support during their sentence if they have issues with drugs and alcohol. This includes support and substitute-prescribing, offered by recovery teams who will begin planning for someone’s support needs on release.

Prison leavers are asked if they would like to be referred to a substance misuse service in the community. If this is accepted, they will be offered a gate pick-up on the day of their release, as well as continued substitute-prescribing and accommodation on release.

Ongoing support will be offered including tenancy support, accompanying someone to appointments, assisting with benefits and one-to-one sessions. In Sheffield, this support is provided by Addaction.

Prison leavers: contact Addaction if you have any questions or need further support.  You do not need this to be arranged by prison or probation officers.  Addaction also help people who refer themselves.

Support is also offered to people leaving prison who do not have substance misuse issues. This is provided via the National Probation Service or a community rehabilitation company.


How do you refer into treatment services?

People can refer themselves into drug and alcohol services or go through their GP or another professional.

Where do you fit in

Where do you fit in?

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Everyone can play a part in helping rough sleepers and people on the streets in Sheffield.

See how you can help or get in touch if you have other ideas.

We want to hear from everyone including businesses and other organisations

Please also tell us if you've seen someone you're worried about and don't know how best to help.