Plummeting temperatures have led to Peterborough City Council opening its winter night shelter and emergency provision to support rough sleepers.
The Peterborough Winter Night Shelter opened yesterday (Monday 11 December 2017) and will remain open until 11 March 2018. The shelter is run by a group of seven churches working together with the council to help reduce rough sleeping.
People wishing to access this provision need to visit the New Haven Night Shelter, 21 Towler Street, Peterborough or the council's Housing Needs team at Bayard Place to complete a referral form.
Good practice guidance from the Department for Communities and Local Government also recommends that local authorities have emergency provisions in place to prevent loss of life of rough sleepers in severe weather conditions.
As a result the council's Severe Weather Emergency Provision opened last Thursday (7 December) in response to overnight temperatures that were predicted to fall below zero Celsius for three consecutive nights.
People who are homeless can access an emergency night shelter at Fairview Court, 1 Oundle Road, Peterborough. People looking to use this service should be at Fairview Court at 10pm.
The emergency provision is only temporary and will stay open until January 2.
Councillor Irene Walsh, cabinet member for communities for Peterborough City Council, said: "We have said previously, and the same is still true, that nobody needs to sleep rough in Peterborough. Not every town and city adopts this approach, but in Peterborough nobody has to sleep rough.
"There are a range of services and options that are made available and offered to every rough sleeper, including a winter night shelter and support for those who are struggling with mental health issues or are reliant on drugs or alcohol. In addition, the emergency provision will be in place until temperatures rise.
"The fact remains that there are still some people who refuse to accept help for a number of different reasons. We continue to engage with these people and offer them support, should they require it."
If you know of someone sleeping rough please notify the council as soon as possible using the rough sleeper referral form on our website.
People are able to make donations towards the winter night shelter provided by charities in Peterborough by visiting the MyDonate page.