Our outreach team is working hard to ensure people sleeping on the streets are given the shelter they need as temperatures drop this week.

Our Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) has been activated for the second week in a row, meaning that it immediately puts in place additional accommodation to prevent harm and death to rough sleepers due to severe weather conditions.

Last week, 39 people were offered shelter, a higher than usual number for Torbay.

People are sheltered in emergency accommodation and this week, we have also referred some people to the New Footings Ministries, who are offering spaces in their new night shelter provision.

Councillor Christine Carter, Cabinet Member for Corporate and Community Services, said: “Our outreach team works hard to ensure that all people they know who are sleeping rough – or who are reported as rough sleepers – are contacted and offered the help available to them.

“The weather is icy at the moment and we don’t want to see people outdoors in these conditions. Anyone who is aware of someone sleeping rough should refer them so we can help them.”

You can refer someone sleeping rough through the Streetlink website. People who find under 18s sleeping rough should alert the police.

In the longer term, we're working on a number of initiatives to house homeless people after receiving £1.9million under the Rough Sleeping Initiative.

We have used the funding to secure a six-bedroom house which has given immediate shelter to people who were living on the streets. Two more properties will be leased this year.

We will also use the money to fund specialists to work directly with rough sleepers.

One of these posts, of Tenancy Sustainment Officer, is currently being advertised. If you are interested in this role or know someone who is, further details are on our jobs page

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