Cold weather initiative takes in record number of street sleepers in Camden

Camden’s Street Safe Team (SST) has been out in the borough recently finding rough sleepers and offering them a bed under the Severe Weather Emergency Provision (SWEP) scheme. They have also produced a mobile app to make it easier for the public to help Camden’s street sleepers and get them the support they need.

Screenshots of mobile app.

StreetSafe Team’s mobile app makes it easier to get help for rough sleepers.

SWEP is a London-wide scheme which enables outreach workers to offer people sleeping rough, short-term emergency accommodation, when the temperature is forecast to drop below zero degrees for 3 consecutive days or more.

“These offers are unconditional and a person’s usual right to housing in the borough or immigration status become irrelevant,” say SST. “The aim of SWEP is quite simple; it is there to preserve the lives of those without accommodation during these cold spells.”

So far, during the recent cold weather, the Camden team has booked 16 people into beds which they say is a record number. “Although we will have to ask them to leave their temporary accommodation when the weather warms up, we always try to direct them towards a long term accommodation offer and continue to work with people after they leave,” they said in a statement last week.

SST have produced the Streetsafe app which can be used for reporting rough sleeping, street drinking, street drug use, begging and sex working in the London Borough of Camden and can be downloaded for Android and iPhone from the SST website.

In City of Westminster the public can use Westminster City Council’s rough sleeping helpline.

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