Council activates emergency beds for rough sleepers as the temperature drops below zero

Published: Wednesday, 21st February 2018

As the Met Office forecasts freezing overnight temperatures during the rest of this week, Oxford City Council has activated its Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) for rough sleepers.

This means that the council and local homelessness organisations will make extra bed spaces available for rough sleepers from tomorrow night, Thursday 22 February, until Sunday night (25 February) in the first instance.

SWEP bed spaces open on the first night of a period when the Met Office forecasts the temperature will fall to zero or below on three or more consecutive nights. When SWEP is activated, emergency accommodation is available for anyone who wants to come inside during freezing weather.

The current Met Office weather forecast is for the overnight temperature to be below zero from Thursday night into next week. A decision on whether to extend SWEP activation beyond the weekend will be made on Monday 26 February.

The council has activated SWEP in consultation with its key local partners St Mungo’s and Homeless Oxfordshire.

The Oxford Street Population Outreach Team (Oxford SPOT), which is run by St Mungo’s and based at Homeless Oxfordshire’s O’Hanlon House, will tell potential rough sleepers that SWEP beds are available from tomorrow night until Sunday night in the first instance.

Rough sleepers who want to access SWEP accommodation need to present themselves at O’Hanlon House between 9 pm and 9:30 pm every night that beds are available.