With the weather set to get colder this week, Southampton City Council is increasing its support for rough sleepers in the city and offering advice for members of the public who would like to help
The city’s Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) has been activated today, Monday 16 January 2023, and will run until Monday 23 January 2023 at 9am when temperatures are currently forecast to improve.
As well as the usual accommodation the council provides throughout the year, extra emergency spaces are available for rough sleepers who want shelter from the cold and those who are at risk of having to sleep on the street.
The Street Homeless Prevention Team is carrying out more outreach work on the streets to locate rough sleepers and encouraging those found sleeping out to accept help.
Here are five of the best ways members of the public can help:
Report your concerns
If you’re worried about a rough sleeper, please phone 023 8083 2343 or email email@example.com. It’s useful if you can share some information about the person, including a description and where and when you saw them.
Please call 999 if you see someone who is unwell or distressed. Don't put yourself in danger or approach someone acting strangely, even to help.
Encourage rough sleepers to visit the Homeless Day Centre
People needing emergency shelter can approach us themselves by attending at the Homeless Day Centre at 30 Cranbury Avenue, Southampton SO14 0LT. The day centre provides facilities for people to have a shower, use the laundry, enjoy a hot meal, access IT equipment, and receive health advice from medical professionals.
Many people feel much more comfortable donating to established charities to make sure money goes towards someone who is homeless, rather than someone begging to sustain an addiction. You could offer someone a hot drink or some food, or simply stop to chat to them for a while.
If you’re interested in doing more to help rough sleepers in the city, please visit Street Support, where you can find lots of information and advice about volunteering.
Change The Way You Give
Funded by Go! Southampton, this initiative enables people to support those affected by homelessness with a tap of their contactless bank card. There are contactless points in Southampton Central Library, The Marlands, Tudor House & Garden, SeaCity Museum, and Westquay, and the donations go straight to local charities Two Saints, No Limits and Society of St James.