Simple steps to help if you see homeless person sleeping rough in freezing cold

Rough sleepers are facing the coldest night of the autumn so far tonight.

Below are a few things you can do to help the homeless, from putting them in touch with your local council to showing them some simple kindness.

As temperatures plummet to -9C this evening, some rough sleepers are at risk of freezing to death in the bitter cold.

A record 726 homeless people died in England and Wales in 2018, up by a fifth on the year before.

Here are steps you can take to help if you are concerned about a homeless person.

1. Phone your council's local homelessness team

Your local council should have a homelessness department which is responsible for looking after rough sleepers in the area.

To find out which council area you live in click here , enter your postcode and then follow the link to your local authority's website.

Councils run emergency shelters and can also organise longer-term accommodation for the homeless.

Each council website will contain details on how to contact them.

You can also report a rough sleeper's location through the StreetLink application, enabling the council to track them down.

To learn more about the initiative go on the StreetLink website here .

StreetLink will ask you for the rough sleeper's location, when you saw them and for any information you have about the individual.

3: Say hello

Homeless people are often isolated and feel invisible because people walk past them, Glasgow Live reports.

A friendly word and showing you care can make a big difference. You could even grab them a tea, coffee or a sandwich or give them some change, if you have some to spare.

If you've got time, you could even provide them with useful items. Foil blankets, socks, hats and other winter warmers can be bought in pound shops and charity shops.

If you spot a woman on the street, a care bag with menstrual products and baby wipes can go a long way.

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