A special team of charity volunteers are heading out tonight to help homeless people – as temperatures plunge to sub-zero in Bournemouth.
The year-round initiative sees specialised outreach workers go out to meet people who are currently sleeping rough in the BCP area, offering them support to help them move away from the streets.
The project is spearheaded by St Mungo’s homelessness charity.
A spokesperson for St Mungo’s said: “During periods of extreme weather such as sub-zero temperatures, it’s really important that we are able to urgently reach everybody to offer support, as being out in extreme weather conditions and temperatures for long periods can be extremely dangerous.
“We often put on additional outreach shifts when SWEP is activated so we can make sure everybody who needs support is reached as quickly as possible.
“Our team listen to individual’s needs, and help them access the support that is right for them. Our staff help complete assessments and find clients suitable accommodation, and work with a wide range of partners. This isn’t just housing, it can also include mental health services, access to a GP, drug and alcohol services, employment support and much more.”
During SWEP, a range of different emergency accommodation options are available to people coming in off the streets, depending on their individual support needs.
They also provide a safe and warm space for the night, working with people individually to help them find a route away from sleeping rough and to plan their next steps towards longer term accommodation. This looks different for different people, but might be supported accommodation or independent accommodation.”