Salvation Army to protect rough sleepers from severe weather
published on 15 Dec 2022
As the temperature plummets, The Salvation Army is working with Coventry City Council to provide emergency beds and other support to keep rough sleepers safe during very cold weather.
Emergency beds have been available since 8 December in Coventry to help rough sleepers to stay warm this winter. The move is part of the national warning system known as the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP).
The SWEP is triggered when temperatures drop to zero or below, or weather conditions deteriorate drastically – making it extremely hazardous for rough sleepers.
The Salvation Army’s Assistant Territorial Director for Homelessness, Malcolm Page, said: “Cold kills people forced to sleep on the streets and so when the temperature drops, we join a nationwide network of emergency shelters to help provide a safe warm space for people who would otherwise be sleeping outdoors.
“Many of our community churches provide drop-ins and other services to support those who are experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness. The rapid increase in the cost of living will place additional demands on these services, particularly for those who are vulnerable or living in fuel poverty.”
At Harnall Lifehouse in Coventry, The Salvation Army works closely with Coventry City Council to provide emergency support during severe weather. The Salvation Army currently have provision for 12 emergency beds. If Harnall Lifehouse reaches capacity, The Salvation Army will alert the EDT (Emergency Duty Team at Coventry City Council) so that they can book extra suitable warm accommodation.
Rough sleepers are offered hot drinks and breakfast while they are at Harnall Lifehouse. The following morning, they are signposted to the Joining Communities Together building where Coventry City Council’s Rough Sleeper team meet with them and discuss and give options for finding suitable accommodation.