'Severe Weather Emergency Protocol' sees rough sleepers offered warm bed and food

People sleeping rough have been told to visit the Stonepillow sites
People sleeping rough have been told to visit the Stonepillow sites

Homeless people in across the Chichester and Bognor have been offered a warm bed and food as below freezing temperatures creep across the South East.

With temperatures below freezing, both Chichester District Council and Arun District Councils have implemented Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) meaning there is a warm bed and food available for anyone who is on the streets.

A spokesman for Chichester District Council said: “Our Severe Weather Escalation Protocol (SWEP) is activated until at least Sunday 6 January. This means that emergency night accommodation is available for rough sleepers. We have been working with local homeless charities and partners to make sure that all rough sleepers know about this provision.

"We would encourage homeless people to liaise with Stonepillow via the Hub in St Cyriacs or they can also call our out of hours number, 01243 785339. We also encourage members of the public to pass on this message if they know someone in need.

"We also have a full time Rough Sleeper Outreach Worker who covers the district verifying and engaging with rough sleepers to promote and support lifestyle changes. Anyone can report sightings of rough sleeping to www.streetlink.org.uk where our Rough Sleeper Outreach Worker will verify any reports and will reply to the referrer.”

A spokesman for Stonepillow said: “We urge anyone who is sleeping rough to come to one of our Hubs so they can register for SWEP. We can offer you shelter, warmth and support and also start looking at ongoing housing solutions past the end of this severe weather.

"If for any reason you are unable to register at one of our Hubs then please head to one of the hostels where SWEP will be operating from 6:30pm”

Stonepillow operate SWEP for the councils in the following locations:

Stonepillow Chichester Hostel St Joseph’s Hunston Road Chichester PO20 1NP

Stonepillow Bognor Hub Glenlogie Clarence Road Bognor Regis PO21 1JT

Stonepillow Hubs:

Our Chichester Hub is open 9am - 4pm 7 days a week.

Address: Chichester Hub, Old Glassworks, St Cyriacs, Chichester PO19 1AJ

Our Bognor Hub is open 8am - 3pm, Monday – Friday.

Address: Bognor Hub, Glenlogie, Clarence Road, Bognor Regis PO21 1JT

How to support the work Stonepillow do:

Homelessness continues to increase. Since 2010, the number of people sleeping rough in the South East has increased by 261 per cent and the average age of death for someone who is homeless is just 47 years old, the charity said.

SWEP gives Stonepillow an opportunity to engage with people they might not normally see, for a complexity of reasons, and look to give them ongoing support in the future. Last winter, on average Stonepillow saw an extra 20 people per night during SWEP in addition to the 96 people they have in their accommodation on any given evening.

If you wish to support the work Stonepillow are delivering to homeless people in these conditions then please text STON31 and the amount you wish to donate e.g. ‘STON31 £3’ to 70070 or alternatively you can donate online at www.stonepillow.org.uk.