As the freezing overnight temperature is forecast to continue, Oxford City Council has extended its Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) for rough sleepers.
This means that extra bed spaces will remain available for rough sleepers in Oxford from tonight until the morning of Wednesday 21 March.
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 council activated SWEP on Friday (16 March) in consultation with 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 will remain open until Wednesday morning.
There are spaces for up to four dogs in Homeless Oxfordshire’s O’Hanlon House, though these are all currently taken. Oxford SPOT offers free kennel spaces to all rough sleepers with dogs during SWEP periods. Rough sleepers who want a kennel space need to notify O’Hanlon House of this by midday on a day they intend to take up a SWEP bed.
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.