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Extra help for rough sleepers - a community response

Extra help for rough sleepers - a community response - 12/12/2018

Last winter, 2017-18, Sheffield City Council worked in partnership with South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, the British Red Cross, and Framework to provide somewhere safe and warm for people at risk of rough sleeping, when 'weather watch' was in operation.

The Fire Station is a great location, based in the city centre with excellent facilities. It provided a warm place to stay, out of the cold, with access to snacks and drinks between 9pm and 7am. People were offered advice from Framework the next morning with referrals to Housing Solutions and specialist support.

In total 29 people stayed at the fire station, all but 3 of whom were known to Sheffield services, and all of those known had a history of rough sleeping and homelessness.

This winter, 2018-19, the sit up service will be in operation once more, with support from the same partners. In the past year, these relationships have been strengthened and there has been a real commitment from the whole team at South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue to get involved and support rough sleepers in the city.

SYFR staff at the Eyre Street location sponsored a meal by each donating £5 to provide a Christmas lunch for rough sleepers and staff from services in mid December, with all leftover food being donated to the Salvation Army Lifehouse in the city. The lunch event gave service staff the chance to have a tour of the facilities that are accessed by rough sleepers during weather watch, and find out more from Area Manager, Tony Carlin, and his team about the support provided.

Tony Carlin said: “Helping people in need and saving lives is core to our mission as a fire service, so it makes perfect sense for us to provide emergency accommodation during particularly severe weather periods.

“This initiative provides comfort, warmth and shelter for rough sleepers and the homeless and is a clear example of public agencies working together to help some of the most vulnerable people in our area.”

Anyone who is homeless, or at risk of losing their accommodation, can call Sheffield City Council on 0114 273 6306 during office hours, or 0800 7311 689 outside office hours.

If you’re worried about someone sleeping rough please call Framework on 0800 066 5358 or Text SOTS to 80800 followed by your message, or visit www.streetlink.org.uk. You can also call the Weather Watch numbers on someone’s behalf (0114 273 6306 or 0800 7311 689 outside office hours) but please do this when you’re with the person so they can provide extra information.

 

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