Newport has seen an increase in the number of people sleeping rough over the last few years.

Welsh homelessness charity The Wallich, who support people sleeping rough in the city, reported seeing 25 per cent more people compared to the same time last year.

As the numbers grow, clearly, we all need to work together to help homeless and vulnerable people get help. But what can we do? You will have heard of different ways to help people who sleep rough – many people buy food or donate money to local charities, but have you heard of the StreetLink app?

Downloading the easy-to-use StreetLink app on your smartphone will help people who are sleeping rough in Newport.

If you see someone who is sleeping on the streets, all you have to do is input basic details such as the person’s location, a short description of what they look like and the time of day you saw them. Then a professional from the local authority, or a partner agency, will go out and visit that person to make sure they’re okay and connectthem with housing services.

Evidence suggests that some people sleeping rough may not be known to local services, while not all rough sleepers are aware that help is available – about 50 per cent of rough sleepers arrive on the streets without seeking advice from anyone.

It can be quite distressing to see someone who is vulnerable and not know what to do, or feel confident enough to help them. The StreetLink app is an easy and effective way to connect people who are sleeping rough with support workers and professional services that can help them out of homelessness. The more people who use the app, the more people can be helped off the streets.

Many of us see homelessness every day; on our way to work, school or when we’re out in the evenings. It’s an issue that is front-of-mind with all of us in our city – the public, business owners, politicians, we’re all aware that there are more people who need help. Let’s come together as a community, use technology available to us and get support to people experiencing homelessness.

Download the StreetLink app via the Apple Store or Google Play.