Emergency shelters open in Worthing to support rough sleepers over big freeze

Emergency shelters have opened in Worthing this week to support rough sleepers during the expected sub-freezing temperatures.

The two shelters were opened yesterday (Thursday, 3) by Adur and Worthing councils.

The service is provided under Severe Weather Emergency Protocols (SWEP).

Emergency shelters open when temperatures are zero degrees or below for a recommended three days or more to prevent loss of life.

The shelters will be staffed by council teams and the charity Turning Tides.

Along with the extra support, councils’ outreach workers will be out and about ensuring that vulnerable individuals are directed to relevant services.

Council officials are also encouraging businesses and residents to play their part in supporting rough sleepers this winter.

Suggestions on how to support people on the streets include:

  • Connecting rough sleepers to local support services via the Streetlink app (details below). The reports are checked and responded to by Adur and Worthing Councils Outreach staff and Rough Sleeper Coordinator.
  • Buying those on the street food and hot drinks rather than gifting money.
  • Reporting any instances of antisocial behaviour to the police.

A spokesperson for Adur & Worthing Councils said:

“We are dedicated to making sure vulnerable people on the streets are cared for, not just in extreme weather, but throughout the year.

“Our dedicated team of outreach and support staff are out every day and will ensure that all those in need are directed to a dedicated shelter during this cold snap.

“At the moment, it is predicted that the shelters for Adur and Worthing will be opened for three nights but we will continue to monitor the situation.

“Our teams will remain as flexible as possible so that we continue to provide the best possible support to meet the needs of rough sleepers across our communities.”

The cold weather shelters are funded by a government grant, which councils have said can ensure they can continue to offer vital support until the spring of 2020.

Street Link is an organisation which enables members of the public to connect people sleeping rough with local services that can support them.

To connect a rough sleeper in Adur and Worthing you believe is in need of support services visit Streetlink’s website.