These guidelines are based on policies and procedures used by professionals on the basis of long experience. They are appropriate if approached by someone in the street or for clergy or community centres who have callers on their doorstep.

Inevitably there are some risks when working with homeless people which you should be aware of and try to reduce. Click here for more information.

First of all ask some questions to check out the situation the person finds themself in. Be aware that stories are not always completely truthful. Ask if they are aware of and have been in contact with any of the agencies and services offering help to homeless people. Suggest that they go and talk to people at The Foxton Centre in Avenham.

Do offer a copy of the advice leaflet listing services for homeless people in Preston . Download copies from this website and print them out.

It is not wise ever to give money:  people will tend to come back for more and tell all their friends. For many the way they spend it could make their problems worse.

Offering a bed in your own home is extremely risky, even if you think you know the person very well. Besides obvious risks to persons and property, it could be extremely difficult to persuade a guest to leave in the morning or months later. If you own separate self contained vacant property you may decide to offer this as an emergency place to stay. However, it may not be suitable for long term residence and do little in itself to move the person on into mainstream accommodation. If you are generous and have money to spare you might consider booking someone into a cheap hotel or B&B for a few nights until a better solution can be found,

It is almost always acceptable to offer food and a cuppa. Bear in mind that homeless people may not even have a tin opener, let alone a way of cooking food,

You could offer a change of clothing, especially warm outdoor wear in winter, and maybe even offer to do a load of washing.

For people sleeping rough a warm sleeping bag, duvet or blankets can be a life saver.

If someone has got stuck in Preston while trying to travel to their home town then you could help by buying travel tickets. It is possible to buy print it yourself National Express coach tickets using your credit card over the internet. Otherwise go with the person to the station or bus stop and buy the tickets for them. In some cases a day rover ticket will be cheaper and more useful than a single fare.  


or help them to make phone calls to family and friends or to make an appointment at the housing advice service. If they have a mobile it can be helpful to charge up batteries or top up credit for them.


If you believe God can help it is OK to promise prayer…but don’t pray over them or with them if it seems they might find this embarrassing or judgemental.



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