Image of man risking 20ft drop into Thames to sleep shows London’s homeless crisis

Shocking images of a man risking a 20ft plunge into the River Thames are yet more evidence of London’s growing homeless crisis.

The man huddles up on a ledge against the wall of Charing Cross Bridge.

With just inches from the edge, he could fall into the freezing and filthy river by simply turning in his sleep.

Barely a foot between him and a 20ft drop to the water, this rough sleeper risks death as he beds down on the narrow ledge by the Thames.

Shocking image of homeless man risking 20ft plunge into Thames just to get some sleep
The man risks a plunge into the Thames just to sleep (Picture: Rex)
Shocking image of homeless man risking 20ft plunge into Thames just to get some sleep
The shocking truth of homelessness in the UK Picture: Rex)

It’s believed the man jumped over a large concrete barrier to make it on to the ledge, risking the drop simply to get a night’s sleep.

The image is a shocking reminder of the UK’s growing homeless problem.

Here’s a handy guide to helping any homeless people you see sleeping rough:

How to help the homeless

First, contact StreetLink

StreetLink operates across England and Wales*, so you can get in touch with them about rough sleepers anywhere in these two countries.

You can find them on, call their 24-hour hotline on 0300 500 0914, or download their app on your iPhone or Android.

*In Scotland, local authorities are obliged to house homeless people that same day. Because of this, rough sleepers are dealt with on a town or city-by-city basis. Shelter has published a list of organisations you can contact for help depending on where in Scotland you are.

Make a referral online

If you’re using the app or the website, StreetLink has an online form you can fill in to let them know when and where someone is sleeping rough.

Download the StreetLink app (Picture: Ashitha Nagesh)
Download the StreetLink app (Picture: Ashitha Nagesh)

Include as much information as you can

When you refer someone, make sure you include as much information as possible.

This includes the place you saw the person sleeping and, if possible, the time that you saw them there.

For example, you can write: ‘I have seen someone sleeping rough at (place) at (time) on (date).’

If you have any more information about the person, such as what they look like or what they might be wearing, that is also helpful.

The app has a referral form (Picture: Ashitha Nagesh)
The app has a referral form (Picture: Ashitha Nagesh)

But don’t feel you have to ask someone for more information

There’s no need to approach someone sleeping rough to get more information about their situation.

While it’s helpful to send StreetLink details like appearance, times, dates and locations, anything else is the job of local services.

Don’t email charities directly

While you may have once needed to email charities such as Crisis and St Mungo’s directly, you now no longer need to do this.

This is because StreetLink will forward the details you send them on to the most appropriate local outreach teams – which often includes these charities anyway.

Credits: metro

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