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Council launch emergency protocol to protect homeless as freezing temperatures hit Coventry

Published Friday, 04 January 2019

Cllr Ed Ruane, cabinet member for homes and communities, explains about the challenges facing towns and cities, and the increase in rough sleepers, particularly as temperatures dropped overnight.

"Our cold weather provision is triggered once the temperature reaches zero degrees and will remain in place until the weather improves."

"This provision ensures that for anyone who wants it, this includes pet owners, couples, individuals whose needs might be more complex and those who have no recourse to public funds."

Cllr Ruane explains that the absolute necessity is safeguarding the health and wellbeing of individuals who often have very complex needs.

He said: “It’s absolutely essential that we help ensure the wellbeing of rough sleepers.

  “In the city centre there are signs of those who are sleeping rough and in Coventry the numbers of rough sleepers is more than last year."

“There are more volunteers than ever supporting the winter night shelters, so there is help available.

“We have a Severe Weather Emergency Provision (SWEP) protocol, particularly aimed at the harder to reach rough sleepers to prevent them from being out in the most severe weather.  It provides a hot meal and breakfast and an opportunity to try and engage with those accessing the provision.”

“This isn’t always easy. Agencies are often dealing with people with multiple complex needs such as mental health issues, drug or alcohol problems."

Coventry Winter Night Shelter (CWNS) is a project run by Coventry Churches around the city, which provides rough sleepers with support, a hot meal, a safe and warm bed for the night and breakfast the next day. The project runs up until 31 March every year.

The CWNS is ready to register anybody who is sleeping rough, regardless of their local connection or benefit status.

The CWNS is a partnership project between the City Council and Hope Coventry. If you would like to make a donation toward the work of CWNS it is quick and easy using Hope Coventry’s website

Registrations to use the Shelter provision can be taken at the following locations:

  • Salvation Army Lifehouse,44 Harnall Lane, Coventry CV1 4EZ - Monday, Tuesday and Friday 10am - 1pm
  • Langar Aid House, Upper Spon Street, Coventry CV1 3GW - Monday 10am - 12noon
  • Jesus Centre, 7 Lamb Street, Coventry CV1 4AE - Wednesday 9am - 12noon
  • Steps for Change, 19 Hertford Street CV1 1LF - Thursday 11am - 3pm
  • Coventry Cyrenians, Oakwood House, Coventry CV1 2HL - Monday to Friday 9am to 12.30pm

If you need advice about helping people in need of accommodation over the winter, call Coventry Night Shelter’s Bernardo 07450 693897 or Helen 077133 40065.

Find out more about food and other provisions for rough sleepers.

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