Homelessness in Plymouth - FAQs

There is a group of charities and agencies in Plymouth who are commissioned together to support people with complex needs, helping with everything from drug and alcohol misuse to mental health services and accessing appropriate accommodation. Read more about the Plymouth Alliance

Begging, being homeless, street drinking and rough sleeping are all different. Some people may be more than one of these things, but they might not be all four. Even if someone isn’t homeless, or rough sleeping, that doesn’t mean they might not need support for other things.

Begging – asking people for money, often whilst sat on pavements or by approaching people.

Homelessness – there are many reasons someone may not have a permanent place to live. They may be in work, engaging with support services and be living at friend’s homes or sofa surfing, they may not be rough sleeping.

Street drinking – often small groups of drinkers congregating to drink. Some of these may have anti-social or aggressive behaviours, others may not. Report anti-social behaviour by calling the non-emergency Police number 111.

Rough sleeping – most rough sleepers will be known to the local authority and support services will have been offered. Although not everyone who sleeps on the street or in parks is there by choice they may not engage with the support offered to them for a variety of reasons that may include: drug or alcohol dependency, criminal behaviours, having a pet that isn’t able to be homed with them, mental health issues, or a combination of complex issues and chaotic lifestyles.

There are places for homeless people to eat free food every day in Plymouth: Next Meal is a website that lists local places for free food.

Rough sleeping is not just a housing issue, there is a lot more to helping people than putting a roof over their head. People who sleep rough can often have many complex issues including physical and mental health issues, addictions and offending histories, which is why the Alliance has been set up. Most empty properties in the city aren’t owned by the Council so we can’t simply "open them" for people to sleep in.

There are lots of services here to help people who want support, follow the steps on the website for more information. Sometimes people will reject the help available or are excluded from accommodation for a period of time due to behaviours . Help will still be available when someone is willing to engage with support services.

It’s a personal choice, and we love the fact that Plymouth residents help those in need, but if you want to be certain that money you can spare will definitely help people towards permanent housing then we ask you to give via the Tap-to-Give boxes.

Make sure you report it, it might take us a bit of time to support people behind the scenes but we are helping them.