15th February 2019

Supporting rough sleepers with no recourse to public funds

Supporting people with no recourse to public funds

Our team in Leeds have been working with several individuals who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF). So what does this mean? NRPF can be imposed on individuals from the European Economic Area. They may be prevented from claiming welfare benefits, homelessness assistance, housing allocation and even access to emergency accommodation.

These individuals are restricted from accessing emergency accommodation unless the temperature is below 0. They can only access temporary accommodation and universal credit if they can prove that they've worked in the UK for 3 months.

Why it’s an issue

Many of our service users are keen to work, but have described the challenges of living in a tent whilst trying to hold down a job. One of our service users recently started work with an employer who would provide him with the payslips he needed to access emergency accommodation, something which is unfortunately often rare. However, when he started work he was still living in a tent, and was unable to maintain good personal hygiene and presentation, preventing him from keeping the job. He explained his struggle in getting to work to work on time, having a shower and being presentable whilst living in a tent.


Exploitation is also a key issue, as many individuals with no recourse to public funds are at risk of being exploited through low paid or forced labour. Some employers will not provide the payslips needed by these rough sleepers to prove that they have been working, forcing them to remain on the streets as they are unable to access services without the much need payslips.

How do we offer support?

We help individuals access the services that are available to them, such as mental health teams and GP's. Many of those sleeping rough have poor mental and physical health, and it is important that we help them access these services. The language barrier can also be a problem and we accompany our service users to meetings and appointments to assist.

We have also helped people to get into more secure work by helping them attain ID, providing bus passes and food parcels, as well as phones to ensure that even if they’re unable to engage with services, they can contact us at any timefor much needed emotional support.

Other Blog Posts

20th November 2018

Ted - a case study

Our Outreach Worker has been working with Ted (not their real name) for the past 8 weeks. They first met Ted when they were conducting an early morning outreach session. Ted was sleeping rough in a tent. After checks with other services, it became apparent that Ted was not engaging with any other services. He does not like to talk to people in positions of authority and at first his engagement with us was frosty.

Rough Sleeping