Cold weather support for rough sleepers

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HELP is on hand for rough sleepers should icy weather strike this winter.

During cold spells Copeland Council has a policy to make sure no-one is sleeping out in sub-zero temperatures.

Of course the council works all year round to make sure no-one has to sleep on the streets. This means there are actually very low numbers of rough sleepers in Copeland – but in wintertime the council is particularly keen that no-one should stay out in freezing temperatures.

Coun Geoff Garrity, Copeland’s portfolio holder for community planning, said: “We are lucky in that we do not have many genuine rough sleepers in Copeland – but we do want people to know that if they see or hear of someone in this situation, they should tell us and we will help.

There is national guidance that rough sleepers should be found accommodation if the weather is forecast to fall below zero for three consecutive nights.

Coun Garrity added: “There is a lot of year-round work we do with homeless people, and those at risk of homelessness. We help find emergency accommodation where appropriate, signpost people to help with debt and other issues, and help people with rent deposits.

“But when cold weather hits we don’t want even one person to be left vulnerable and outdoors at night. Sleeping in the cold for long periods can be dangerous and we are working hard to make sure no-one has to endure this. Sometimes rough sleepers don’t wish to get help from us, in which case we make sure they know of the places they can get help.”

If you are sleeping rough, or know of someone who is, please encourage them to come to the council for help, either by visiting the Copeland Centre, Whitehaven or the Millom council office, or calling us on 0845 054 8600.

Published: 10 December 2014 - 11:26am