The Council's duties and how to get help
If you are homeless, or threatened with homelessness, we will, in certain circumstances:
- arrange an interview with you and make an initial assessment on the day of your application, or the next working day if outside working hours;
- complete enquiries within 33 days, except in exceptional circumstances; and
- provide a written decision on your application.
For information on our statutory duties towards people who are homeless or likely to become homeless, please read our Homelessness leaflet.
How to get advice and information
We will provide advice and assistance to eligible homeless people free of charge and attempt to prevent homelessness whenever possible. If you would like to arrange an interview or require further information, call in to the Housing Department (see office opening times below) or contact our Senior Advice Officer on (01229) 876332, 876507 or 876374 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Office opening times: Monday to Friday: 9am - 4pm.
- Telephone enquiries: Monday to Thursday: 8:30am to 5pm & Friday: 8:30am - 4:30pm
For information on ways in which you may be able to prevent yourself from becoming homeless, please read our leaflet Preventing Homelessness.
Local and National Contacts
For information and contact details of local and national projects and support services please read our leaflet Local and National Contacts.
If you are homeless and making enquiries out-of-office hours please contact our Out-of-Hours Emergency No. (01229) 833311.
Cold Weather Provision for Rough Sleepers
We can provide services to rough sleepers to prevent serious harm as a result of cold weather conditions, when the temperature is forecast to drop to zero degrees or less for three consecutive days.
People found sleeping rough can be directed to the Homeless Advice Team:
Assistance for Rough Sleepers
Ending rough sleeping is a national priority and we are working with other local authorities across Cumbria, with the aid of additional funding from the Department of Communities and Local Government, to address the needs of rough sleepers in this area.
No Second Night Out Service Offer
We aim to implement the Government’s No Second Night Out principles, which are:
- New rough sleepers should be identified and helped off the streets immediately so that they do not fall into a dangerous rough sleeping lifestyle.
- Members of the public should be able to play an active role by reporting and referring people sleeping rough.
- Rough sleepers should be helped to access a place of safety where their needs can be quickly assessed and they can receive advice on their options.
- Rough sleepers should be able to access emergency accommodation and other services, such as healthcare, if needed.
- If people have come from another area or country and find themselves sleeping rough, the aim should be to reconnect them back to their local community unless there is good reason why they cannot return.
Rough Sleepers are defined as:
"People sleeping, about to bed down (sitting on/in or standing next to their bedding) or actually bedded down in the open air (such as on the streets, in tents, doorways, parks, bus shelters or encampments). People in buildings or other places not designed for habitation (such as stairwells, barns, sheds, car parks, cars, derelict boats, stations, or 'bashes')."
Source: Evaluating the Extent of Rough Sleeping, Communities and Local Government, 2010.
NB. The definition does not include people in hostels or shelters, people in campsites or other sites used for recreational purposes or organised protest, squatters or travellers.
What We Can Do
- New Rough Sleepers: Our Homeless Advice Team is working collaboratively with partners to locate and support all identified rough sleepers. We are able to do this within office hours. However, in order to reach rough sleepers out of hours, we need other organisations and the local community to help by signposting rough sleepers to our services or reporting rough sleepers (see below).
- Public Involvement: Every local housing authority in Cumbria has a contact number (or numbers) which have been printed on cards and distributed around the county. Anyone can phone these numbers to report rough sleepers. The numbers for all of Cumbria are listed below.
- Place of Safety: We are able to offer interview facilities at our offices at the Town Hall, Duke Street, Barrow-in-Furness, LA14 2LD, between the hours of 9am – 4pm. We may also be able to provide interviews elsewhere by arrangement with partner agencies such as Furness Homeless Support Group, 25 Bath Street. Please read our Service Standards.
- Emergency Accommodation: We may provide emergency cold weather provision for rough sleepers. However, we do not have any direct access or other hostel accommodation and therefore it is sometimes necessary to use accommodation outside of our district or other reasonable temporary measures/solutions.
- Reconnection: We will endeavour to reconnect rough sleepers to their local community or country where it is considered safe to do so. Please read our Reconnection Statement.
To Report a Person Sleeping Rough in Cumbria
If the rough sleeper is within the Borough of Barrow-in-Furness please call our Homeless Advice Team on (01229) 876332 - office hours: 9am – 5pm (4.30pm Friday). Out of Office hours: 01229 833311.
If the rough sleeper is located elsewhere in Cumbria, please call the appropriate number for the area.
Area Office Hours Out of Office Hours
Allerdale 01900 702 660 01900 871 080
Carlisle 01228 817 079 01228 817 373 single men or 01228 817 386 women and families
Copeland 08450 548 600 - the same number
Eden 01768 861 428 08003 581 401
South Lakeland 01539 793 199 0870 4286 905
Looking for Private Rented Accommodation but can't afford a deposit?
The DiGS (Deposit Guarantee Scheme) has been set up to help people in need move into secure privately rented accommodation. For more information please read our DiGS leaflet.