The housing minister has launched Streetlink, a hotline for the public to refer rough sleepers to local services.
The pubic are being urged to refer people sleeping rough via their hotline and website, which is set up by homelessness charities, and is intending to get homeless people off the streets quicker.
The project was set up and funded by the Communities and Local Government department, as research has shown 48 per cent of all adults said they feel guilty when they see a rough sleeper and don't know the best way to help and 46 per cent would welcome an easy way to take action.
The service has been set up by Homeless Link, who say that more than 2,000 people are estimated to be sleeping rough on any one night in England and almost half did not seek help between losing accommodation and their first instance of rough sleeping.
It has first been trialed across London as part of the No Second Night Out (NSNO) initiative, and in the first six months of the project more than 2,000 calls were made, and 415 rough sleepers were helped into accommodation. This means it was four times more successful than current approaches.
The service comes as homelessness soars across the country, and predictions that it will continue to rise due to cuts and reforms to benefits.
The hotline is now being rolled out across England this week by Homeless Link, partnered with Broadway.
Housing minister Mark Prisk said:
With the nights getting colder, many people will be wondering how they can help when they see someone facing a night on the streets. Streetlink will give them the chance to make a real difference.
This new service will help rough sleepers across the country to connect with their local services, offering the help and advice they need to get back on track.
Rick Henderson, chief executive of Homeless Link, said:
The public really want to help people they see sleeping rough but there is a lot of confusion about what to do. Streetlink makes it easy to take the first step to helping a rough sleeper off the streets.
More needs to be done to prevent people becoming homeless in the first place, but getting people off the streets is both a vital and difficult first step. Capitalising on public support has proved to be a solution that works.