Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) has been triggered today as the weather forecast predicts temperatures will be dropping at 0 degree Celsius or below over the next few days.
As an emergency humanitarian response, all people who find themselves rough sleeping are offered emergency accommodation with the aim to preserve life.
Here at SPEAR, our Outreach Teams will be working additional shifts to ensure all rough sleepers are supported at this critical time. We are working closely with Local Authorities to find suitable and safe provision. Working extra shifts means we are able to spend ,more time on the streets, supporting those who are most vulnerable and liaising with local authorities to secure emergency accommodation. We are also providing vital goods and facilitating transport so people can get to the accommodation provided.
During this critical time, we postpone regular activities where we can so we can focus on implementing this emergency protocol.
Since SWEP was activated earlier today, we have offered SWEPT support to over 40 rough sleepers across the boroughs in which we operate.
This severe emergency protocol comes at a particularly difficult time as latest official figures show a startling rise in people sleeping rough in London.
In July – September alone, 3,628 people were found to be rough sleeping, an increase of 24% on the same period last year. This increase shows 1,844 of these people, or 51%, sleeping rough for the very first time, suggesting the cost of living crisis is increasing homelessness rapidly.