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Emergency measures announced for rough sleepers during cold snap

Published: 24 November 2021

Emergency measures announced for rough sleepers during cold snap Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP)

With temperatures expected to drop below zero later this week, Exeter City Council  is making extra emergency accommodation available to rough sleepers

The City Council is set to activate its Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) in light of freezing weather coming in from Thursday onwards. The cold snap is likely to last into the weekend.

The Council has reminded members of the public that they can report someone they believe to be rough sleeping to Streetlink at or call 0300 500 0914 (weekends only) or the Assertive Outreach Team on 01392 284287 or email throughout the week.

The SWEP means that individuals confirmed by the outreach service – working with other local homelessness partner agencies - as sleeping rough in the city, will be contacted and offered the opportunity to come indoors during this spell of cold weather.

The Council and its partner agencies work tirelessly to ensure as many local rough sleepers have already been accommodated especially prior to the deterioration of winter weather.

A number of bed spaces are available at the City Council’s night shelter in Magdalen Street, otherwise known as The Junction, as well as other locations throughout the city.

Cllr Ruth Williams, Lead Councillor for Supporting People, said: “No-one in the city should be sleeping rough and freezing temperatures make it even more important to get people inside with a roof over their heads.

“We will do everything we can to identify these people and encourage them inside but if members of the public have any concerns about specific individuals, I would urge them to contact Streetlink,” she added.

Outreach and the City Council review the weather forecasts daily and at present the SWEP is expected to be deactivated on Monday morning (29 November). However this will be reviewed based on updated forecasts later in the week.

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