Peterborough council activates emergency shelter provision for rough sleepers

Rough sleepers in Peterborough are being made aware that shelter is available for them, as temperatures continue to drop.

Thursday, 19th December 2019, 3:48 pm
Rough sleepers in Long Causeway. EMN-190114-152339009
Rough sleepers in Long Causeway. EMN-190114-152339009

Peterborough City Council activated its Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) last week. Triggered when temperatures fall to one degree centigrade or lower for three days in a row, the SWEP offers greater protection to those sleeping rough on city streets.

The SWEP is an additional resource for rough sleepers. It is based at Fairview Court in Oundle Road, Peterborough, and has beds for 18 people.

Provision is also provided by Peterborough Winter Night Shelter, a project run by Light Project Peterborough, which provides beds at 15 churches across the city.

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These two services are by referral from PCC. The addition of SWEP means all rough sleepers will be able to get a warm place to sleep, with bedding and hot drinks.

It is part of a range of support measures for rough sleepers provided by partners of the Safer Off the Streets (SOS) partnership, which also include the Garden House drop in centre, provided by the Light Project Peterborough.

The SOS partnership helps on average two rough sleepers to leave the streets a month since it began in October 2018 and has raised more than £12,000, which has gone towards running the Garden House.

Residents who want to pledge their help to rough sleepers in the city are asked to donate money either online, via the contactless card reader in St Peter’s Arcade, or at the cash collection boxes at the Town Hall reception and Visitor Information Centre.

Councillor Steve Allen, Peterborough City Council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “Nobody needs to sleep rough in Peterborough and there is a lot of good work going on to help rough sleepers get off the streets and accessing the support they need.

“The average life expectancy of a rough sleeper is just 47, more than 30 years below the UK average. The reason we want to direct people to night shelters is because it’s warmer than sleeping outside and offers help and support in getting off the streets for good.”

If you know of someone sleeping rough please notify the council as soon as possible using the rough sleeper referral form on our website at www.peterborough.gov.uk