Borough council unveils plans to support rough sleepers

Basingstoke Gazette: The plan aims to help rough sleepers The plan aims to help rough sleepers

A PLAN to prevent rough sleepers from falling ill, or worse, during the winter has been unveiled by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.

The Severe Weather Emergency Protocol lays out plans to support rough sleepers in the borough during the cold winter months.

The plan is part of the council’s “No Second Night Out” response which is a Government initiative to stop people sleeping on the streets for more than one night.

An estimate of the number of rough sleepers was taken in November last year, which showed an increase in the borough.

Staff from May Place House, at the Top of The Town, Stonham Housing Association, in Attwood Close, the police, and Basingstoke and Deane Homelessness Team are working in partnership to identify rough sleepers in Basingstoke.

May Place, a hostel for homeless people, will identify potential clients and refer them to Stonham which will complete an assessment to determine if the client is suitable for emergency accommodation.

May Place can provide 20 bedrooms with an extra six emergency beds, access to washing facilities, laundry facilities and emergency change of clothing for individuals who have limited belongings.

Food parcels will also be available to clients who are most in need.

Stonham can work with 10 to 13 clients at any given time to provide them with emergency accommodation.

Rough sleepers will be able to access these services when the Met Office predicts at least three consecutive nights of a minimum temperature of 0 degrees Celsius or an excess of three inches of snow which is not expected to thaw overnight.

Kate Randall, the council’s housing manager, in a report, said: “The intended outcome from this work will include reductions in the prevalence of, and risks from, rough sleeping.”

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