Man living in Peterborough phone box has refused help to get accommodation

Man living in telephone box at Gladstone Street EMN-160122-100613009
Man living in telephone box at Gladstone Street EMN-160122-100613009
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A man found sleeping in a freezing Peterborough phone box this week has refused the offer of accommodation from council services in the past, it has been revealed.

The man was spotted in the booth in Gladstone Street, Peterborough.

He had been living there for a few days when Ansar Ali spotted the curtains put up in the booth.

The man was using hessian sacks to keep himself warm in the icy temperatures.

Today a spokeswoman for Peterborough City Council said they had been speaking to the man to offer him help and assistance, but he had refused their offers.

The spokeswoman said: “The gentleman in the telephone box is well known to the council’s housing needs service. Our rough sleeper outreach officer has been regularly engaging with him to encourage him to access services.

“We have worked with partners including Cambridgeshire Constabulary to support this gentleman and offer him a place to stay. We recently arranged for him to be escorted to accommodation but he decided not to accept the offer and left. We continue to talk to him and offer him support to leave the streets.”

As temperatures plummeted over the past two weeks, outreach services have been helping a number of rough sleepers in the city.

Peterborough City Council works with Axoim Housing Association to provide Severe Weather Emergency Provision (SWEP) for all known rough sleepers from November 2015 until March 2016. SWEP arrangements are triggered when the night time temperature is predicted to be zero degrees C or below for three or more consecutive nights. On these nights the council visits rough sleepers and alerts all partners including the police, drug services and churches to direct rough sleepers to shelter.

The council spokeswoman said: “SWEP was triggered on 14th January 2016, since which date seven people left the street to sleep in shelters. None of the shelters were full.

“Additionally, the council has been working with the Light Project Peterborough, a faith group, which is providing eight additional beds in the form of a Winter Night Shelter.”

More: Man found living in a phonebox in Peterborough street