By ANISAH ARIF
The weather forecast shows that temperatures dropping below freezing and staying low for a few days. With this in mind we’ll be providing a bed for anyone in Kirklees who is sleeping rough, or threatened with sleeping rough, from 17 January 2019. We’ll review it over the next few days to see if it needs extending.
This is called our ‘Severe Weather Emergency Protocol’ (SWEP) and it aims to prevent deaths on the streets in severe weather.
If you know or meet anyone who will be sleeping rough during this time please contact us on the numbers below, and spread the word so that other people are aware too:
Out of hours/weekend – Home Group’s Clare House, supported by the Council’s Emergency Duty Service – 0300 304 7936
OR Weekday between 9 and 5pm – Housing Solutions Service – 01484 221350
SWEP has the potential to change a life – every person who is given a bed through SWEP is visited by a housing officer the next morning, to talk them through their options and discuss how they can get longer-term help.
SWEP is helping to prevent deaths – last winter we ran it for 45 nights as it was a particularly harsh winter. We helped 43 people have a warm bed for the night and we kept working with those who carried on talking to us.
Some people just are not ready – if people are not ready to accept the help through SWEP, partners at the mission and the welcome centre both offer somewhere they can go and get warm and have a chat.
They allow pets wherever possible – although there are a small number of places where they work with where pets can’t go. In all cases, this is taken this into considering when allocating emergency accommodation.
Ccommitted to helping people to permanently get off the streets, SWEP colleagues in housing solutions work all year to support people at risk of becoming homeless or who are already rough sleeping. They also provide support and emergency accommodation for eligible people who find themselves homeless.
You can help the homeless at any time – if you see a homeless person or someone who looks to be sleeping rough you can let the relevant people know where they are, and when you saw them through Street Link. The app alerts the council’s housing solutions team and their partner organisation who can go and check what, if any, help the person needs.
If you want to know more about the support for the homeless in Kirkles, please read our Your Questions Answered article.