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How to help if you see a sick homeless person

Mark Mummery, a homeless man living in Grimsby, died last week. According to reports, his body lay on the street for three hours before anyone noticed.

"Nobody seemed to be taking any notice of him at all, even though there was clearly something wrong. He was just lying there lifeless," a local resident told Grimsby Live.

Homelessness is on the rise in England - 280,000 people are living on the streets, up 23,000 since 2016, according to the charity Shelter.

Last year, at least 726 homeless people died in England and Wales.

So what should you do if you see a rough sleeper who appears unwell?

Two in three British people want to help when they see a homeless person, but aren't always sure how to, research by charity Crisis shows.

"British people care about homelessness and they want to help but uncertainty and nervousness are stopping them," says Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis.

If you see a homeless person, Crisis advises:

  • Call 999 if you have immediate concerns about their welfare

  • Ask if there is anything they need such as a hot drink or food, warm clothing and blankets

  • Say hello or stop for a chat

"Many people we work with tell us that not being acknowledged or treated as a fellow human being can be just as painful as the physical hardships," adds Mr Sparkes.

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