Extra measures introduced to bring rough sleepers inside during cold
Published: 6 January 2021
As temperatures are once again set to drop below zero, Exeter City Council is making extra emergency accommodation available to rough sleepers over the coming days.
The City Council has activated its Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) in light of the worsening forecast for tonight (Wednesday) and the next four nights.
The Council has reminded members of the public that they can report someone they believe to be rough sleeping to Streetlink at https://www.streetlink.org.uk/
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 have been working tirelessly over the last few months to ensure as many local rough sleepers have already been accommodated especially prior to the deterioration of winter weather. As a result of this partnership work, numbers on the streets have more than halved since early November. In the last six days, ten rough sleepers have been accommodated with more due to come indoors during the cold spell.
As a result of the ongoing pandemic, sleeping spaces in communal settings have been closed and therefore the number of emergency accommodation options are very limited for people willing to come off the streets. All offers of accommodation are made subject to an assessment of individual needs, risk and capability which includes a person’s ability to be compliant with accommodation rules. The majority of accommodation placements will be provided through bookings with local B&Bs in and around the city.
Outreach and the City Council review the weather forecasts daily and at present the SWEP is expected to be deactivated on Monday 11 January. However this will be reviewed based on updated forecasts later in the week.