How to help rough sleepers in the cold weather

With temperatures dropping, the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol is now in place to ensure that no one needs to sleep on Havering’s streets during the cold spell. Find out how to help someone who is rough sleeping

Homelessness - Get help, advice and support

You may find yourself homeless or about to be made homeless for several reasons such as an eviction, a difficult home situation you want to leave or you have been in hospital or prison and have nowhere to return to.

Please follow the advice under the headings below as it will help you make decisions about getting somewhere to live.

Council housing in Havering is very limited. We have a long waiting list of people looking for housing so it is unlikely that you will be placed in a council house.

Because of this we will give you help finding housing in the private rented sector. Sometimes this may be outside of Havering.

As well as helping you find somewhere to live, we can also work with you to prevent you losing your current home.

We may also offer you financial assistance through Havering’s Find Your Own Scheme which can be used as deposit and rent in advance to secure new accommodation.

Please see our Homeless Placement Policy for full details about how we help you into accommodation.

If you're threatened with homelessness and are eligible for help, we can help to prevent your homelessness. 

You could be homeless if you:

  • have no home in the UK or elsewhere that they have a legal right to occupy
  • have a movable home such as a boat or caravan and there is nowhere it can be placed lawfully
  • you're are at risk from harm if you stay in your current home

You are threatened with homelessness if you: 

  • are likely to become homeless in 56 days
  • have received a valid notice to quit (S21 notice) 
  • have received a notice that landlord requires possession of accommodation which expires within 56 days. 

If you think you may be homeless or threatened with homelessness we may be able to help you to remain in your home or move to another home.

The earlier you contact us the more we'll be able to help you.  

Fill in our contact form

If you are homeless we will look at whether or not you have local connections in the area such as: 

  • how long you've lived in the area
  • if you're employed in the area
  • you've close family in the area
  • other special circumstances

We will talk to you about your circumstances. This will help us to understand your situation and any support and help you may need. 

We will fill in a Personal Housing Support Plan and agree with you what you need to do and also what we need to do to help you. 

Over the course of your application we'll keep you up to date with what we are doing to help you.

You'll also need to make sure you get in touch with us regularly to let us know what you've done from your Personal Housing Support Plan.

Fill in our contact form

If you've been a member of the armed forces there are a range of organisations that can offer help and support, including housing.

If you're homeless or threatened with homelessness, or are preparing for service discharge, you may be given extra housing priority to access social housing.  

Members of the armed forces and former service personnel, where the application is made within five years of discharge can apply for housing online by filling in our housing application form

You will need to produce a letter of discharge or another form of evidence that confirms your date of discharge from the forces.  

Other support organisations

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, located at High Street, Romford RM1 IJJ, provide a drop in service where showers, clothes, food, sleeping bags and a range of support can be accessed.

The Salvation Army is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday 1.30pm-3.30pm. They can be contacted by telephone on 01708 380 280 or by emailing admin@romfordsa.org.uk.

Services include Havering Housing Solutions, Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), National Career Service (NCS) and Peabody Support Service.

Further information can be found on The Salvation Army website.

The Royal British Legion

The Royal British Legion, can provide financial, social and emotional care and support to all members of the British Armed Forces - past and present and their families.

If you wish to contact them please visit the Royal British Legion website, email info@romfordrbl.org.uk or call the helpline team on 0808 802 8080

Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association

SSAFA provide housing advice to people currently serving in the forces and ex services personnel and their families. SSAFA can be contacted 0800 7314880 or visit the SSAFA website.

Veterans' Housing Advice

Veterans' Housing Advice is a service which provides clear pathways for ex-service personnel in housing need throughout the United Kingdom to move into permanent homes.

It is provided in partnership with The Royal British Legion, Shelter and Connect Assist.

An example of the help they can give is to secure housing without the need to consider a rent bond or deposit.

They have a self help website called the Veteran's Gateway or you can contact an advisor on 0808 802 1212, to get advice.

You may be considered for housing on welfare grounds. 

To qualify, you must have been a relevant child under the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000, which means you would have been looked after by the Council for a certain period of time and have had a pathway plan drawn up.

This includes those placed outside of Havering.

Our Leaving Care Service supports young people aged 16-25 who have previously been looked after by our Children's Services. Through this care leavers and their key workers can access housing support that is delivered twice per month from the Cocoon in Romford. 

The service will offer financial and practical support for you to find your own home and will help with the big changes that will affect you up to the age of 25.

If you attend university the support will continue when you reach 25.

All young persons who have been deemed to be ready for independent living are allowed to bid for Social Housing.

However before this can take place, a pathway plan will be completed, this will usually take place at least 6 months before the leaving care service ends. 

You are given a personal adviser whose job it is to make sure that you claim everything you are entitled to. They can help you with application forms for housing, benefits, and education and/or training courses. They should also help you with learning life skills, like how to budget.

Where can I get help and advice?

Havering Housing Solutions Team

Our Housing Solutions Team are contactable if you need advice, assistance and support with your housing needs.

Drop in to the Public Advice and Service Centre, Liberty Centre, Romford RM1 3LS or call them on 01708 432824. To contact the Leaving Care Team call 01708 746088 or email leavingandaftercareteam@havering.gov.uk

Gov.uk 

There is a lot of information about leaving foster or local authority care on the gov.uk website.

Shelter

Shelter can help with housing advice, support and provide legal services. They are open 7 days a week and can be contacted by phone on 0808 800 4444.

You can find housing advice on Shelter's website.

Havering Mental Health Services (Adults)

Havering Mental Health Services (Adults) can be contacted on 0300 300 1570, 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. You can also email haa.team@nhs.net or visit the NELFT website.

Westminster Drug Project

Westminster Drug Project (WDP) is located at Ballard Chambers, 26 High Street, Romford, RM1 1HR and support people with substance abuse. For more information visit the WDP website or call 01708 747 614 during working hours or out of hours call 0808 168 1116. You can also email at: havering@wdp.org.uk.

If you're in prison or youth detention and will become homeless on release, we can assess your needs and we will work with you and any professionals helping you to find a home.

We can offer advice on a range of issues. It's important for you to get in touch as soon as possible to give time for an assessment so that housing options can be explored. 

We will:

  • carry out an assessment of your housing needs
  • give you a personal housing plan that sets out the steps you and the council must take to find suitable accommodation.

We will work with a number of services including, the Probation Service, Community Rehabilitation Company, Drug and Alcohol Services, Mental Health Service and Youth Offending Team. This helps us to decide what support you might need to find and keep somewhere to live. 

You can get in touch with us by completing our online form.

Fill in our contact form

Where can I get help and advice? 

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is located at High Street, Romford RM1 IJJ. 

They provide a drop in service where showers, clothes, food, sleeping bags and a range of support can be accessed.

The Salvation Army website can provide information about events being held.

There is a multi agency drop in service on the first Tuesday of every month. Services include Havering Housing Solutions, Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), National Career Service (NCS) and Peabody Support Service.

The Salvation Army is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday 1.30pm-3.30pm. They can be contacted by telephone on 01708 380 280 or by emailing admin@romfordsa.org.uk.

Shelter

Shelter can help with housing advice, support and provide legal services. They are open 7 days a week and can be contacted by phone on 0808 800 4444.

You can get in touch with Shelter on the website.

Havering Mental Health Services (Adults)

Havering Mental Health Services (Adults) can be contacted on 0300 300 1570 (option2)  9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. You can also email haa.team@nhs.net or visit the NELFT website.

Samaritans

Samaritans can be called on 01708 740 000  24 hours a day, seven days a week. They can also be reached by emailing jo@samaritans.org. For further information visit www.samaritans.org.

Westminster Drug Project

Westminster Drug Project supports people with substance abuse.

They are located at Ballard Chambers, 26 High Street, Romford RM1 1HR. 

For more information please visit the Westminster Drug Project website call 01708 747 614 during working hours or out of hours call 0808 168 1116. You can also email at: havering@wdp.org.uk.

The Street Pastors

The Street Pastors are part of a national team of trained volunteers from local churches who care about the community and who are there to care, listen and help.

They are usually around Romford South Street on Friday and Saturday nights from 10pm-4am.
 

Suitable housing is a key part of helping people with mental problems, including those with difficulties arising from substance misuse and people with learning disability.

Our Housing Solutions Service will identify, address and reduce the issues of homeless and vulnerably housed people and families across Havering.

This is done through prevention, referral to related supported services, advocacy and advice work so we will be able to advise you how to find out what housing is available locally and how to apply for welfare benefits to help you with your housing costs.

Visit us at the Public Advice and Service Centre, Liberty Centre, Romford RM1 3LS or telephone 01708 432824. For out of hours call 01708 433999.

Do you need urgent mental health help? If you've had thoughts of self-harming or are feeling suicidal, contact someone immediately such as your GP, a friend, a relative or someone else you can trust.

Where can I get advice and support? 

Crisis Line

Call the Crisis Line on 0330 726 0130. If you've already taken an overdose or harmed yourself, dial 999

Havering Access, Assessment and Brief Intervention Team (HABBIT)

Any Havering resident who has mental health and/or substance misuse problem, and whose circumstances are giving cause for concern, can be referred to Mental Health Services. Housing Solutions will make a referral to the relevant  HABBIT.

You can contact them on  0300 300 1570 for Havering or email HAA.Team@nhs.net.

NELFT Mental Health Direct

If you need support for your mental health and it is out of office hours or you don’t know who to contact, then you should call NELFT Mental health direct.

This service is available 24/7. Telephone 0300 555 1000.

Havering Community Recovery Teams (CRT)

The primary focus of the Community Recovery Team is to provide mental health community assessment, treatment and care.

Email them directly at haveringcrt@nelft.nhs.uk or phone them 0300 555 1093 or 0300 555 1083

Havering Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP)

EIP service offers intensive and assertive support for people aged 14 to 65 who may be experiencing their first episode of psychosis (for people aged 14- 18, this service is offered in partnership with our child and adolescent mental health service).

For assistance telephone them 0300 555 1093 or 0300 555 1083 or email haveringcrt@nelft.nhs.uk.

Havering Community Learning Disability Team (CLDT)

CLDT is a joint Health and Social Services team who offers a service to adults aged 18 and over who may need help because of a learning disability including physical and/or sensory disabilities, speech and language difficulties, difficulties in social functioning, challenging behaviour and epilepsy.

Contact them by phone on 01708 433446 or email LDReferrals@havering.gov.uk.

Havering Westminster Drug Project (WDP)

WDP offer a free and confidential support service for individuals and their families affected by drug and alcohol problems. They are located at Ballard Chambers, 26 High Street, Romford, RM1 1HR.

You can find more information by visiting the WDP website or calling 01708 747 614 during working hours or out of hours call 0808 168 1116. You can also email at: havering@wdp.org.uk.

The Street Pastors

The Street Pastors are part of a national team of trained volunteers from local churches who care about the community and who are there to care, listen and help.

They are usually around Romford South Street on Friday and Saturday nights from 10pm-4am.

Find out more from The Street Pastors website
 

There is help available for people who have been affected by domestic abuse.

If you become homeless as a result of domestic abuse, we will do all we can to assist you in sourcing a safe place to stay.

This may not be in Havering and you may be required to travel some distance from your home in order to find safe refuge.

You may be provided with the following housing options. 

Refuge accommodation 

If you are in immediate danger, the Council will get you in contact with a refuge in order to ensure your immediate safety.

Friends and family

Friends and Family can be a great source of support if you are in immediate danger and may be able to keep you safe for an interim period of time. It is advisable to still get specialist support from the various agencies available. 

Legal action

This can be done in the form of occupation orders or non-molestation orders. Occupation order will establish who has a right to stay in the home. An occupation order can order an abuser to move out of the home or to keep a certain distance from the home. 

Victim Support and Havering Women’s Aid can assist you to obtain these orders or refer you onto solicitors. If you are unemployed on benefits  or on low income you may get legal aid if you go via a solicitor.

Where can I get help and advice? 

Police

If you are in immediate danger please call the police on 999

National Domestic Violence Helpline

National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247

Victim Support

Victim Support – Victim Support provide support for victims of domestic abuse and crime.

You can self refer via the London Victim and Referral Service online or call 0808 168 929. 

Havering Women’s Aid

Havering Women's Aid provides specialist assistance to male and female victims of domestic abuse whether it be physical, emotional, sexual, financial or elder abuse.

Please find more details on the Havering Women's Aid website. You can also contact them by phone on 01708 728759.

Ashiana Network

Ashiana Network – Ashiana specialises in supporting Black and Minority Ethnic women (BME) specifically from South Asian, Turkish and Iranian communities aged 16-30 at risk of domestic and sexual violence.

Solace Women’s Aid

Solace Women’s Aid – Solace provides a range of services aimed primarily at women at risk of or, who are victims of domestic violence. These include counselling, location of refuges, advice and advocacy support services.

You can call them on 0808 802 5565 or email info@solacewomensaid.org

Citizens Advice Bureau

Citizens Advice Bureau - for England call 03444 111 444 or find local contact details on the Citizens Advice website.

Men’s Advice Line

Men’s Advice Line is available if you are a man experiencing domestic abuse: 0808 8010327.

National LGBT Domestic Violence Helpline

National LGBT Domestic Violence Helpline is available if you are in a same-sex relationship; 0800 999 5428.

GALOP

Galop are an independent advocacy group that provides support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) victims of hate crime, sexual violence and domestic abuse.

Services range from support and advice to advice on the law and police complaints.

You can contact them on 0207 704 2040 or email referrals@galop.org.uk.

Samaritans

Samaritans can be called on 01708 740 000 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They can also be reached by emailing jo@samaritans.org.

Contact them if you feel in despair and want someone to listen to you and provide emotional support.

Shelter

Shelter can help with housing advice, support and provide legal services. They are open 7 days a week and can be contacted by phone on 0808 800 4444.

More housing advice can be found on the Shelter website.
 

Housing demand in Havering

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