Temperatures across the country are plummeting, with some areas getting as cold as -15C.
This may be a bit unpleasant for most of us, but it’s a particularly terrible time of year for the 3,000 or so homeless people sleeping rough across the country.
With temperatures this low, some of them will likely freeze to death in the streets.
You might have seen a post being circulated on social media with the email address of Mungo’s to allow people to report the location of people sleeping rough this winter.
While it’s well-meaning, the details are out of date.
Here’s what you can actually do to help.
A St Mungos employee has circulated the following information for anyone concerned about someone sleeping rough.
First step, contact StreetLink
StreetLink is a national organisation, so you can contact them about homeless people anywhere in the UK.
Make a referral using the online form
If you’re using the website or the app, there is an online form you can fill in to let StreetLink know where someone is sleeping rough.
Give them as much information as possible
In order to make a referral, they need a rough sleeping site and, if possible, a time.
In his email, St Mungos employee Jon explains: ‘For example “I have seen them sleeping at… at this time…”‘
‘Our outreach teams go out all year round from around 10pm to 7am,’ he adds. ‘They are few and so an accurate sleeping site is imperative.
‘Also, services are dependant on the person being a genuine rough sleeper, so they need to be found sleeping on the street.’
Don’t email St Mungos directly
An older social media post has just resurfaced, telling people to email firstname.lastname@example.org if they saw someone sleeping rough.
However, this is now outdated and the email address is no longer the best way to refer someone for help.