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Nobody will need to sleep rough in Swansea this winter

Swansea Council has pledged that nobody who is homeless will have to sleep rough this winter as it rolls out a new action plan to keep everyone safe and warm.

Swansea Council Logo (Portrait)

The council is putting in place more support than ever before to help homeless people or anyone at risk of becoming homeless.

Working closely with its partners in the voluntary sector it means that there will be always be safe and warm beds available to those that need them and although some people decide to decline assistance no one will need to sleep rough in Swansea

It is part of the council's Homeless Strategy which includes a detailed action plan that aims to put the needs of the homelessness at the heart of the services they receive.

Swansea Council Leader Rob Stewart said:  "We want to make sure anyone who needs or wants a bed or accommodation in Swansea will get it and no one will need to sleep rough this winter. Our aim will be that there will always be safe and warm beds available to those that need them.

"Homelessness is a very complex issue and the reasons people find themselves homeless, at risk of being homeless or vulnerable are varied.

"Unfortunately despite offers of help some people will decline assistance and choose to stay on the street but we will continue to try and work closely with them and to continue to offer support and help."

Swansea Council has been working hard with its many partners in the voluntary sector to ensure that there is extra support.

Swansea's Extreme Weather Plan operates all year to ensure that accommodation and support services are available for any person who finds themselves without any accommodation, particularly during the cold weather. 

In addition between January and March 2020 Swansea Night Shelter will provide emergency accommodation to rough sleepers. The Night Shelter is a service provided by volunteers from churches throughout Swansea.

Referrals for rough sleepers are made through the Access Point which is operate by Caerlas from its base on The Strand.

Those who have been accommodated under the Extreme Weather Plan are immediately referred to outreach providers and caseworkers from the Council's Housing Options service so that a more permanent solution can be found.

If for any reason a rough sleeper is unable to access the Night Shelter then the Council will provide alternative accommodation.

The Council has helped to expand services for rough sleepers in Swansea over the past six months with increased provision of emergency beds and a weekend service provided by the Rough Sleeper Intervention Team (RSIT). 

The Housing First Project is also a new service which has been recently implemented aiming to address the needs of the most entrenched rough sleepers by providing independent accommodation with intensive support.

Cllr Andrea Lewis, Cabinet Member for Homes and Energy at Swansea Council, said: "Our Homeless Strategy is an important step towards enhancing the alliance of organisations already working together for the benefit of vulnerable people across the city.

"The actions which go with it will help us to go the extra mile to support families, single parent families, rough sleepers, those with mental illness and others who are at risk of becoming homeless or are already homeless.

"Although some people decide to decline assistance no one will need to sleep rough this winter"

Cllr Lewis urged people to get in touch if they see a vulnerable person or rough sleeper.

"If you see a rough sleeper during the day our advice would be to contact the Rough Sleeper Intervention Team on 07824 991448 or Housing Options on 01792 533100. Out of hours you can report to www.streetlink.org.uk or call 0300 5000914."

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