Leading homelessness charity St Mungo’s is calling on members of the public to take action if they see someone sleeping rough during the stormy weather over the coming days.
The Met Office has issued a red “danger to life” weather warning across London and the South, as the country experiences what could be the UK’s worst storm in 30 years.
With the support from St Mungo’s and many homelessness charities across the south of England, local councils across the regions have activated Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) responses to make more accommodation available in the activated areas to ensure that nobody has to sleep on the streets during extreme weather.
Last night (Thursday 17 February), SWEP was activated in the below areas where St Mungo’s operates:
- Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole
SWEP activation could be continued in these cities across the weekend and people are advised to keep checking social media for the latest updates in their local areas.
Members of the public are being urged to take action if they see someone sleeping rough during Storm Eunice by making a referral via the StreetLink app, which connects people sleeping rough with their local outreach team.
In emergency situations when a person’s safety is at immediate risk, members of the public should call 999.
The St Mungo’s Outreach Team have increased the number of routine shifts being carried out across the activated cities and will continue to ensure that everybody who is on the streets is offered a safe and warm space to stay indoors overnight.
Steve Douglas CBE, St Mungo’s Chief Executive, said: “Sleeping rough is a health risk all year round, but severe weather is particularly dangerous and can, in some cases, be life-threatening.
“As Storm Eunice poses extreme risks, it is important that members of the public and people experiencing homelessness are aware that additional accommodation is available for people sleeping rough.
“Along with many other homelessness charities, St Mungo’s expert outreach teams are working around the clock with local authority partners, to ensure that more accommodation is available and people are offered safe and warm shelter from the storm.
“We ask members of the public to help us and if they see someone who is homeless and on the streets make a referral to StreetLink, so that they can be connected with local support and brought inside.”
StreetLink operates 24 hours a day, 365 day a year with alerts being passed to local outreach teams who then use the information to find and support people sleeping rough.