Project Information

Providing support to rough sleepers across Rochdale and Oldham 

If you have concerns regarding a rough sleeper across Rochdale or Oldham call (free) 0800 254 525

We aim to visit the rough sleeper within 24 hours to offer support such as clothing, food and emergency accommodation.


A Service that is proactive responding to local reports of people sleeping rough and targeting areas and individuals.

The Sanctuary Trust will conduct 5 evening or early morning sweeps of local hotspots across both Oldham and Rochdale on a weekly basis.  During these periods we will respond to local reports of rough sleeping and attempt to verify the intel.

We are reluctant to produce ridged working patterns / rotas as our aim in conducting this piece of work is to meet the needs of the client and to be flexible when working across caseloads, this drive takes precedence over the needs of colleagues and partner agencies. However, we recognise there is a need expressed by our partners at DePaul to offer some clarity on when staff members are conducting verification / sweeps.  For this reason, we have produced a verification / sweep rota that will come into effect from 4th May 2020 (See Appendix 1)

The Sanctuary Trust will report back homelessness verification to relevant area coordinator within 1 working day.  The Sanctuary Trust will consider a report of rough sleeping ‘verified’ when we observe the reported individual bedded down and, in a position, where they are likely to be sleeping on the streets.  The Trust recognises this is not always achievable, for this reason the Trust will assume verification when ‘reason to believe’ criteria is met. The Trust will activate ‘reason to believe’ verification in the following circumstance:

  • We have engaged with reported rough sleeper on multiple occasions and our observations during these contacts leave us to believe this person is in fact rough sleeping
  • We have intelligence from agencies such as Homelessness Section, Police, approved partners, etc. that collaborate with our belief the individual is in fact rough sleeping

RSI workers will not engage in verification on a lone working basis, all verifications will be conducted with 1 other paid employee of the Sanctuary Trust or colleague from an approved partner.

During our verification / sweeps we are likely to collate other useful intel such as hot spots of street begging, large small gatherings (over covid 19 period), sex working and drug and alcohol use.  We will collate other intel and report this back to the relevant coordinator on a Friday using the Intel report proforma (See Appendix 2).

Generally, RSI referrals / intel is received via area Coordinator.  The relevant area coordinator will ensure there is sufficient information on this document for the Trust to conduct verification searches.  In the event referrals contain insufficient information this will be returned to area coordinator as we are unable to respond without sufficient intel pertaining to likely location of rough sleeping, risk and support needs information.

The Sanctuary Trust aim to respond to all sufficient referrals / intel received via area coordinators within 1 working day.  We will make 5 attempts to verify the report of rough sleeping within 7 days.  In the event we are unsuccessful, we will liaise with area coordinator and other agencies in an effort to gather further information that may aid in the verification of reported rough sleeper.  If, after 14 days and 10 attempts to verify we are still unsuccessful, this person will be added to a dormant list and a new referral will be required to stimulate any further searches (See Appendix 3)

On occasion, the Sanctuary Trust receive intel from other sources.  We consider it good practice to support a single point of entry for rough sleepers. The Trust will support this principle by ensuring all intel received via pro-active engagement is fed back to the area coordinator via intel report.

The Sanctuary trust are committed to the following principles when working with rough sleepers in Oldham and Rochdale –

  • We will adopt a personalised and tailored response
  • We will use expertise of persons with lived experience of homelessness to shape our practice
  • We will give a consistent message, key messages include highlighting the dangers of rough sleeping and viewing change as possible for everyone, everyday
  • We will celebrate small steps and recognise complex needs and the barriers individuals may face
  • We will demonstrate unconditional regard for all
  • We will be an effective advocate with agencies
  • We will never condone rough sleeping, but we will hold on to these principles – even when it’s tough

We will demonstrate these key principles through out the assessment and intervention process. Our assessment document (Appendix 4) and Support planning tool (Appendix 5) are holistic recognising the inter-relating nature of issues that prolong rough sleeping.  These documents have been reviewed by persons with lived experience of homelessness, they are short in an effort to reduce the risk of disengagement as we gather vital information on how best to support beneficiaries.

The risk assessment (Appendix 6) will help the partnership understanding the risk of rough sleeping and outreach work.  We will apply a positive approach to risk taking, it is our aim to be as inclusive as possible – when risk is deemed unmanageable we will put actions in place to ensure all persons who are rough sleeping can benefit from the Service – we will do our very best to ensure all persons irrespective of the risk associated can access this Service as well as removing barriers to ensure fair access to other Services.

The Sanctuary Trust will not duplicate work that is already being delivered by other approved partners.  We will look to work in partnership with approved partners to meet the needs of RSI clients.

In the event we identify a gap in provision, we will work with partners, commissioners and clients to create interventions that can be tailored to meet individual needs of clients.

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