Bedford Borough Council announces more funds for assisting rough sleepers in the borough. Photo by Randy Jacob on Unsplash

Bedford Borough Council has expanded its support for those sleeping rough this winter

The ‘Severe Weather Emergency Protocol’ which has operated for a number of years is in place again this winter. A shelter, run by The Salvation Army, will open when the temperatures are forecast below freezing for three or more consecutive nights.

This year the shelter will be run at their outreach centre on Kennedy Road, off Elstow Road, Bedford.

It will offer those sleeping rough a warm and safe place to sleep, along with an evening meal and breakfast the next morning.

Cllr Anthony Forth Image: Bedford Borough Council

Cllr Anthony Forth, Bedford Borough Council portfolio holder for Adults Services and Operational Housing, said:

“We work with our partners to ensure that overnight shelter and food is provided to those sleeping rough in the coldest weather this winter. No one should have to sleep rough, and we are working hard with our partners throughout the year to help people move on from homelessness.”

All agencies and organisations that work with rough sleepers receive an alert when the shelter is open. The Council website will also inform people when the shelter is open.

Working in partnership with SMART, who run the Prebend Day Centre, the Council will also be providing 10 extra overnight beds which will be available all winter- from 1st November to 31st March.

These beds are by referral only, managed by street outreach teams. This new extra provision is being funded following a bid by the Council to the Government’s Rough Sleeper Initiative fund announced earlier in 2018.

If you are aware of someone sleeping rough we urge you to report their location and any details to Bedford’s Rough Sleeper Street Outreach Partnership through the national rough sleeping report line at www.streetlink.org.uk