Friday, 30 November 2012

Severe Weather - how you can help rough sleepers in Reading @launchpad_RSG @StMungos

I've approved this year's Severe Weather Emergancy Provision in Reading, information about it is below.

I know a lot of people at all times of year but especially as it gets colder have concerns about the rough sleepers in Reading so thought it was worth reminding people what you can do to help.  There ar etwo things, one of course is to donate money ot a homeless charity, like Launchpad, who do so much more than provide housing.  The second is to make sure that St Mungos and the council are aware of every single rough sleeper.  St Mungo's count of those sleeping rough changes each month as people move on, and are supported into accomodation but the bad news is that that means there are always people newly sleeping rough.  If you know or believe someone to be sleeping rough in Reading then contact Street Concern on 0118 9585002 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm or email streetconcern@mungos.org.  Nationally counts of rough sleepers are on the rise and while Reading has not yet seen similar trends there is only so much pressure the partnership between the voluntary sector and the local council can take.  Anything we can do to support people now will help that individual get their lives back on track before the worst of the winter weather.


Extra beds during severe cold weather this winter.

Severe Weather Emergency Provision

As in previous years, homeless people who find themselves on the streets in Reading are to be offered emergency extra beds during severe cold weather this winter.
The Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) is a partnership arrangement between Reading Borough Council, Launchpad, Hamble Court, the Salvation Army, Waylen Street and St Mungo's that has existed for many years and is activated whenever the Met Office forecasts three nights or more with a minimum temperature of 0°C or below.
During this time, St Mungo's coordinate extra accommodation in the communal areas of Reading's homeless hostels for anyone who would otherwise be sleeping rough.
St Mungo's are commissioned by Reading Borough Council to provide a street outreach team to support rough sleepers and assist them in moving into appropriate accommodation. During the cold weather, St Mungo's use the opportunity to engage with homeless people who may have been previously reluctant to access accommodation and support services.
In addition, this year Launchpad will be coordinating a breakfast drop-in for the use of SWEP clients. This will provide further opportunity for the St Mungo's team to assess and engage with homeless people and encourage them to access support service available.
Last year, over the winter period, 46 people were offered SWEP accommodation and only 5 refused. 40% of those accommodated in SWEP were from outside of the Borough. When St Mungo's carried out analysis in May of this year, they found that 28 (57% of those offered) of the homeless that had engaged with SWEP had gone on to find settled accommodation.
Anyone concerned about a rough sleeper at any time of the year in Reading should contact Street Concern on 0118 9585002 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm or email streetconcern@mungos.org