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Rough sleepers found more permanent accommodation following cold spell

Published: 26 January 2024

Nine rough sleepers have been found more permanent accommodation

Twenty rough sleepers took advantage of extra measures to bring them inside in Exeter during the recent cold spell, figures have shown.

And nine of those have now found more permanent accommodation, the City Council has revealed.

The Severe Weather Emergency Protocol was in place for 17 days between 5 and 22 January, as overnight temperatures regularly dipped below freezing.

The Protocol makes extra emergency accommodation available to rough sleepers.

Cllr Martin Pearce, Lead Councillor for Communities and Homelessness Prevention, said activating the SWEP had made it easier for the Council to engage with those sleeping rough and help them moving forward.

“The protocol enables our outreach and housing teams to build relationships with those who in normal circumstances are sleeping out on the streets.”

From time to time some individuals who have received an offer still choose to sleep out at night. On these occasions services continue to support people to come into accommodation and find creative ways to overcome this barrier.

Cllr Pearce added: “Every night that someone is forced to sleep rough on our streets puts them at risk, so this provides a good opportunity for us to talk to them, start conversations and try to find more permanent accommodation.

“Many of those who are sleeping rough have extremely complicated circumstances that but I’m pleased to say that our teams have managed to find accommodation for nine rough sleepers, which is a success story in itself

“I would like to thank all those working in the homelessness prevention teams and all our partners for their planning and swift action to make emergency bed spaces available during the freezing conditions.”

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