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Council enacts SWEP to help city's rough sleepers during cold snap

With a severe cold snap due, City of Wolverhampton Council has enacted the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) to help the city's rough sleepers.

The protocol means, by law, the council must provide shelter for them when freezing temperatures are forecast over 3 days or more.

Churches and volunteers in the city have also come together to set up a night shelter, which is already operating at Broad Street Church.

Lesley Roberts, City of Wolverhampton Council Strategic Director for Housing, said: "The council continues to actively work with its partner agencies to try and find a solution for rough sleepers in Wolverhampton.

"Our outreach team have been out today to spot rough sleepers and the police regularly inform us of any rough sleepers they come across.

"All have been offered a solution to their current issues in the form of short term crisis accommodation - but most have rejected this in preference of remaining on the street.

"Like most big towns and cities, Wolverhampton does have an ongoing issue with homelessness, but we are working hard to address this.

"We particularly focus our efforts on preventing someone from becoming homeless in the first place, and work closely with our partner agencies such as P3, Housing Outreach teams and colleagues in benefits in order to offer advice to, and find solutions for, people threatened with homelessness, and ensuring support is available for those who are unable to maintain their tenancy for whatever reason.

"We have also developed a new 'Rent With Confidence' framework which gives people information about the standard of and management of accommodation which they move into, and also helps the council to identify suitable properties which will help end or prevent individuals' homelessness in the future."

Anyone who is at risk of becoming homeless - or knows someone who has found themselves in that position - should contact the council's Housing Options team on 01902 550919 as soon as possible for help and advice. Alternatively, they can present to P3's Navigator service located on School Street.

  • released: Thursday 12 January, 2017