Rough sleepers

Rough sleepers are defined as:

People sleeping, about to bed down (sitting on/in or standing next to their bedding) or actually bedded down in the open air (such as on the streets, in tents, doorways, parks, bus shelters or encampments). People in buildings or other places not designed for habitation (such as stairwells, barns, sheds, car parks, cars, derelict boats, stations or "bashes").

Source: Evaluating the Extent of Rough Sleeping, Communities and Local Government, 2010.

The definition does not include people in hostels or shelters, people in campsites or other sites used for recreational purposes or organised protest, squatters or travellers.

Reporting someone sleeping rough in Cumbria

If you see someone sleeping rough in Cumbria please tell us either by ringing the homeless advice service in your area on the number listed below or via the StreetLink website:


Please call 999 if you think the person is in immediate danger or needs urgent care.

Please note we do not have an outreach service that can respond to reports of rough sleepers out of hours. We will always try to follow up on all reports of someone rough sleeping the next working day.

Please contact the Housing Options Team in your area if you are at risk of becoming homeless.

Homeless advice and telephone numbers for the Cumbrian councils
Local Authority During Office Hours Outside of Office Hours
Barrow area Homelessness enquiries 01229 876599 01229 833311
Eden area homelessness advice 01768 861499 0800 061 4232
South Lakeland area homeless advice 01539 793199 0870 4286905
Cumberland Council Allerdale area Homeless Service 01900 702660 0303 123 1702
Cumberland Council - Carlisle area homeless information 01228 817200 01228 817368 (single women and families)
01228 817373 (single men)
Cumberland Council - Copeland area homeless advice and guidance 01946 598300 01946 598300
Last updated: Thursday, 26 October, 2023.