13th Aug, 2020

Homeless could receive overnight emergency accommodation when temperatures are above freezing

ROUGH sleepers could receive overnight emergency accommodation even when temperatures are above freezing.

Warwick District Council’s current Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) means homeless people are entitled to emergency accommodation as soon as the temperature hits zero celsius.

But the council looks set to approve a more ‘flexible’ policy which sees accommodation offered when the weather on the street is classed as ‘severe’ – such as heavy rain, snow or high winds, when the temperature is between one and three degrees.

The previous protocol demanded below zero temperatures for three consecutive nights before support was offered. This was changed by councillors last year to any single night in a bid to recognise the difficulties rough sleepers face, especially when the weather was very cold.

The council says last year there were 31 cases of the SWEP being activated, with half of these incidences being covered by night shelters.

The remainder saw some 100 nights of accommodation provided costing £5,600.

A council spokesman said: “The council are taking a number of actions on preventing homelessness and in particular tackle rough sleeping in the district. The SWEP provision is another tool recognising the difficulties rough sleepers face and how difficult it can be when the weather is particularly cold.”

The council’s executive committee is set to vote on the proposal on Wednesday (April 3).

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