Council extends winter accommodation for people sleeping rough
Friday 11 December 2020
MK Council wants anyone who is still rough sleeping in MK to take up its ongoing offer of accommodation and support as the nights begin to get colder.
During the pandemic, the Council has offered every rough sleeper in MK somewhere safe to stay as part of the ‘Everyone In’ programme and has housed over 150 people. Unfortunately, not everyone has taken up the offer of support. Council colleagues never give up on anyone and are continuing to engage with rough sleepers, encouraging them to come in. This programme is on top of other council run schemes that have recently helped more than 100 people off the streets for good.
Over winter, all councils follow a Severe Weather Emergency Protocol which means extra emergency accommodation is offered when the temperature falls below freezing for three nights in a row.
MK Council is extending that support across all winter months regardless of overnight temperature, giving rough sleepers a permanent open door to somewhere safe to stay.
Cabinet member with responsibility for tackling homelessness, Cllr Hannah O’Neill said: “There is very little difference between one or two degrees, and nobody should have to sleep rough no matter what the weather. We’re making emergency accommodation available so we can continue to encourage people to come in, and everyone can know there are no conditions around the weather.
“Providing emergency accommodation also gives us the opportunity to help people once they’re inside. Council partners will work with people through the often very complicated reasons they became homeless in the first place, so they don’t end up back on the streets.”
The council has successfully secured a further £90k of government funding, which will enable it to get more accommodation, including a dedicated space for women who have in almost all cases been a victim of domestic violence and need a safe place to stay.
The additional money means the council is now able to appoint a mental health specialist to support people who haven’t taken up help so far as well as those currently in temporary accommodation.