Rough sleeping services

Helping rough sleepers off the streets

The Mayor provides a range of services to help rough sleepers come off the streets and rebuild their lives. These complement those provided by London’s boroughs.

£8.45 million a year of GLA funding is spent on the Mayor's core rough sleeping services. With his No Nights Sleeping Rough taskforce, the Mayor has also secured additional funding from Government to develop much-needed new services and expand current ones - £4.2 million in December 2016 and a further £3.3m in June 2018. In 2017, City Hall launched three major new services - Safe Connections, the Social Impact Bond for Entrenched Rough Sleepers and Night Transport Outreach. The initiatives being funded this year with the additional £3.3m include:

  • doubling the number of London Street Rescue outreach workers 
  • boosting local cold weather shelters
  • expanding the No Second Night Out service, including two new staging posts and new 'Floating Hubs'
  • improving access to mental health services with a specialist team to assess rough sleepers.

The priorities underpinning all rough sleeping services, projects and initiatives funded by the Mayor are set out in the pan-London Rough Sleeping Commissioning Framework.

Below are details of some of the Mayor's rough sleeping services.

More information is in the Mayor's rough sleeping services briefing.


Enabling the public to alert services about rough sleepers they're concerned about, so that they can be found and linked into services, through the website - - or app. 


London Street Rescue

Providing outreach services in London boroughs that don't have their own services. Its work includes connecting new rough sleepers across London to No Second Night Out.

To find out more, visit the London Street Rescue website.

Night Transport Outreach

Ensuring that those sleeping rough on night buses, the Night Tube and Overground are referred into appropriate services and do not end up on London's streets.

No Second Night Out

An assessment and reconnection service for rough sleepers who are new to the streets, comprising three assessment hubs, plus short term ‘staging post’ accommodation. NSNO also provides 'Floating Hubs' for both new and longer-term rough sleepers.

To find out more, visit the No Second Night Out website.

Routes Home

Supporting non-UK nationals sleeping rough.

To find out more, visit the Routes Home website.

Safe Connections

An assessment and reconnection service for rough sleepers who are relatively new to the streets and have a local connection in the UK.

Social Impact Bond for Entrenched Rough Sleepers

Providing intensive and personalised support to 350 of the most entrenched rough sleepers in London.

Clearing House

Allocating homes specifically earmarked for London's rough sleepers.

To find out more, visit the Clearing House website.

Tenancy Sustainment Teams

Supporting people who have moved into homes specifically earmarked for London's rough sleepers, helping them to sustain their tenancies and gain employment.

To find out more, visit the website for the South Team and the North Team


Severe Weather Emergency Provision (SWEP)

Sleeping rough is dangerous under any circumstances, but during cold weather the negative health effects are even more severe and can pose a risk to life. SWEP is first and foremost a humanitarian response.

SWEP is short-term, temporary shelter that is provided to anyone sleeping rough, regardless of their local connections or recourse to public funds. It is activated any time that the temperature is forecast to reach 0°C or below.

The Mayor has two main roles with regard to SWEP; he:

  • identifies best practice for the delivery of SWEP, and uses his resources and influence to encourage councils to adopt these ways of working, and
  • funds a pan-London ‘overflow’ SWEP service which ensures that there are SWEP spaces available for everyone sleeping rough in London, by opening additional capacity when council SWEP spaces are full.

During winter 2018, for the first time, the Mayor is also directly coordinating the activation of SWEP services for the whole of London.

Last year (2017/18) the Mayor’s team conducted a comprehensive review of SWEP in London, please see the 2018-19 guidance here, and his pan-London SWEP service opened 120 spaces, sheltering 192 people and supporting them away from the street.

Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN)

A database containing information on rough sleepers, provided and used by London's rough sleeping services.

Find information about rough sleepers in the CHAIN report.

The Mayor of London’s Life off the Streets Winter Programme Fund

The Mayor provides services all year round which offer people sleeping rough a 'life off the streets'.

This winter (2019/20), through his £2.2m Winter Programme Fund, the Mayor wants to support local authorities and non-profit organisations to expand provision further, and give services the resources to help people rough sleeping find a long-term solution. Successful projects will be expected to open shelters in line with the Mayor’s commissioned overflow shelters, with a period of continuous opening from after the Christmas period until at least the end of February.

Bidding for the Fund opens on Tuesday 27th August 2019. Grants will range from £50,000 to £250,000 (higher will be considered for multi-borough projects). For further information please see the Winter Programme Fund Prospectus and Application Form in the links below:

GLA Winter Programme 2019-20 Prospectus

GLA Winter Programme 2019-20 Application Form

GLA Winter Programme 2019-20 Milestones Template

All bids should be submitted to [email protected]. The deadline for bids to be submitted is 11:59pm on Friday 27th September 2019.

Encouraging innovation and new ideas

The Mayor also contributes towards other rough sleeping services, projects and initiatives, mainly through his Rough Sleeping Innovation Fund (RSIF). The RSIF provides a major opportunity to develop new innovative and impactful initiatives, to increase the pace of progress, to tackle a wider range of issues and to complement (but not duplicate) existing commissioned services, with demonstrable outcomes.

The Mayor has set aside up to £1 million over four years for this Fund. Bidding for the third round of the RSIF has now closed. All projects in this round will last one year with grants ranging up to £50,000.

Details of projects funded in round two of the RSIF can be found below.

Change Please

Provides training and employment for rough sleepers at two new cafés, alongside supporting them to access and sustain accommodation.



A web-based training and support tool for staff in the homelessness sector, with a focus on working with people with mental health issues and experiences of trauma.

The Connection at St Martin’s (CSTM)

To increase the capacity of non-commissioned services to support people sleeping rough who are not from the UK.

TAP London

Facilitates contactless donations by the public to homelessness charities.

Stonewall Housing

To provide safe shelter accommodation and a daytime community centre to homeless LGBTIQ+ people.


Housing advice and immigration casework for homeless non-EEA homeless migrants in three London hospitals.

Housing Justice

Supports church and community night shelters to implement a strengths-based casework model.

St Mungo’s

Supports couples who have no route of the street via direct intervention, training and a toolkit for homelessness professionals.

Projects which were funded through round one of the RSIF were, Homelessness and Acquired Brain Injury Project, Beam, Saving Lives, Housing First Richmond and Wandsworth.

Details of projects funded in round one of the RSIF which will continue for another year are:


Homeless Women’s Health Project

A female peer-led team, to support clients to attend health and other related appointments to help resolve both their homelessness and health-related needs (Groundswell)

Missing People Project

To pilot a new web-based tool that cross-checks key details from Missing People’s database with those on the CHAIN database (Missing People).

Supporting Women Towards Change

A project focusing on women with multiple needs (domestic violence, substance misuse, offending) across four south London boroughs. To enable women to move off and stay off the streets, to build up their skills and confidence to make positive choices about relationships, substance misuse and their personal safety (Thames Reach).

The Mayor also contributes towards other rough sleeping, projects and initiatives through a grant fund. This also complements (but not duplicate) existing commissioned services, with demonstrable outcomes. Details of other grant projects which are grant funded can be found below.

Homeless Health Peer Advocacy Service

The Homeless Health Peer Advocacy Service provides peer advocacy accompaniment to rough sleepers for health appointments and treatment.

Women's Hidden Homeless Project

To work with a cohort of women over 40 who are entrenched rough sleepers with complex needs, who wander between borough boundaries, and who tend to keep themselves hidden, or who are unwilling to engage. The bid was very similar to previous bid so is not eligible for this round of funding. However, this project may be funded outside of the RSIF.

Veterans Aid, ‘Welfare to Wellbeing’

Veterans Aid’s Welfare to Wellbeing initiative provides an immediate route off the street for any UK veteran in need and a bespoke, structured pathway into independent living. The service’s ‘no first night out’ philosophy means it also supports any UK veteran who is at risk of becoming homeless in London, to prevent them from having to sleep rough.  

Alongside swiftly helping people to enter accommodation, the ‘Welfare to Wellbeing’ model also delivers a range of other support dependent on the person’s needs. This could include help to purchase basic essentials, such as food and toiletries, or supporting them to address addictions through access to detox and rehab. 

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