Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting EJ NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Help the homeless in the cold
5:26pm Friday 25th January 2013 in News
AS temperatures remain low, Tewkesbury Borough Council is encouraging members of the public to think about the safety of homeless people.
Prolonged cold weather increases the risk of death or serious illness to people who sleep rough.
The council, which is signed up to a county-wide severe weather protocol, is encouraging members of the public to contact Streetlink if they are concerned about a homeless person out in the cold.
Streetlink is an organisation which alerts relevant local authorities about any reported rough sleepers in their area.
Members of the public can act when they see someone sleeping rough and it is the first step someone can take to ensure rough sleepers are connected to the local services and support available to them.
Councillor Derek Davies,Tewkesbury Borough Council’s lead member for built environment, said: “If someone is homeless during this cold spell then we want to know about it.
Streetlink makes the process very easy because all you have to do is give them a call to let them know the location of the homeless person. Streetlink will then get in touch with us so that contact can be made with the homeless person to offer relevant services.
“Once we are made aware, our housing advice team works in partnership with GEAR homeless outreach workers so temporary accommodation can be arranged during the severe weather.
We can also help each person complete a housing benefit claim if necessary.”
All councils in Gloucestershire operate a severe weather protocol when the temperature drops below zero for three consecutive nights.
The protocol is in place to help ensure no one dies on the streets due to cold weather and it helps the councils to engage with homeless individuals so they do not return to the streets.
To contact Streetlink, call 0300 5000 914 or visit streetlink.org.uk.