Help for Sheffield's homeless people as temperatures drop

Charities and Sheffield Council are gearing up to launch Weather Watch which protects homeless people during a severe winter.

Tuesday, 11th December 2018, 10:50 am
Updated Tuesday, 11th December 2018, 10:55 am
Officer Steve Hart on patrol in Sheffield in the early morning to find street sleepers around the city.

The system ensures no one has to sleep on the streets in very bad weather. Overnight accommodation is offered to anyone who would be sleeping rough, including crash pads and hostels.

Using the Met Office forecast, Weather Watch is triggered with a 'feels like' temperature of -2 for more than three hours between 9pm and 6am.

Last year saw a very severe winter and the system operated for 64 nights between November 27 and March 21.

The council provided accommodation for 197 people who may have otherwise slept rough and been at serious risk due to the very low temperatures.

This year crash pads will be provided at Brightmore Drive, the Salvation Army, St Anne's, SARA's women's refuge, Roundabout and the Earl Marshall Guest House.

The police, city centre ambassadors, the Archer Project, Ben's Centre and faith and community groups work together on the project. There is an out of hours service but council officers say often people are placed but then do not turn up.

Weather Watch was recently improved with South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service who provide overnight shelter in cold weather. The shelter is a warm place, a chair, blanket and food and for people who may not want a bed. Outreach services call in to offer people further advice.