Homeless Charity Opens Emergency Cold Weather Accommodation

Homeless Charity Opens Emergency Cold Weather Accommodation

HARP, Southend’s leading homeless charity, has responded to the cold snap by opening up 13 emergency bed spaces, so that no one has to risk their lives sleeping out in sub-zero temperatures.

Earlier in the week, the severe weather emergency protocol (SWEP), which kicks in whenever there is extreme hot or cold weather, was activated, and HARP and it’s partners, including Southend-on-Sea City Council, have been working hard to get people in.

Vanessa Hemmings, CEO of HARP, said: “As the cold temperatures continue in to the weekend we want to reassure the public that we are doing all we can to keep vulnerable rough sleepers safe.

“Every night whilst SWEP is in operation, we will be opening up an emergency accommodation for up to 13 additional people, and our Outreach Team is working over the weekend to make sure we can verify rough sleepers in need and bring them in.”

The charity also urges the public to do their bit. If you are concerned about someone who you have seen sleeping rough, please go to www.streetlink.org.uk and report it, with as much detail as you can. This will alert the outreach teams across Southend to the person’s whereabouts, and they can check on their welfare and offer emergency accommodation.

HARP is encouraging local people to support their urgent Christmas Appeal at https://www.harpsouthend.org.uk/christmas-appeal-2022 or by texting the word SAFE to 70460 to donate £10, texts cost £10 plus one standard rate message.

Jamie Langstone