Information about rough sleepers
Cheshire East Council has committed to end rough sleeping across the borough within the our homelessness strategy. This commitment follows an acknowledgement that Rough Sleeping has increased over the last few years particularly in our main towns.
How we can help
While our Homelessness Team will investigate and attempt to assist anyone found to be sleeping rough we have no powers of removal and we must still act within current legislative boundaries
If you encounter someone who you believe is sleeping rough we would encourage you to let us know as soon as possible. This can be done in multiple ways and it is not necessary to approach the individual in question:
Call us on 0300 123 5017 (Option 1 or 2) and give us a brief description of where you saw the individual, what they were wearing and anything else which you feel might be useful to help us investigate and assist the individual.
Contact Streetlink which is a national reporting mechanism which is run by a charity called Homeless Link. Once a report is made via this system it is automatically forwarded to the local authority responsible for that area and in our case the report is sent to the Homelessness Team who will seek to investigate the report as soon as possible.
Practical support to rough sleepers
There are several resources which we can utilise to assist rough sleepers:
Housing Options advice and assistance
The Homelessness Team has an incredible amount of experience providing advice and assistance to anyone who is found to be rough sleeping. We take a pro-active approach to ensure that rough sleeping reports are investigated and should an individual be identified we would allocate an officer to work with them to get them off the street as quickly as possible.
No Second Night Out
Originally started as a national scheme Cheshire East Council decided to continue funding and operating a No Second Night Out (NSNO) project. Currently the Council commissions the YMCA in Crewe to provide the NSNO provision in the borough. The YMCA provides 4 NSNO bed spaces which come with dedicated support at the project aimed at identifying the individual’s needs, putting them in touch with relevant agencies and working with that person to get them into main stream supported or independent accommodation.
Severe Weather Emergency Protocol
Cheshire East Council along with all other local authorities across England are required to provide accommodation to anyone found to be rough sleeping when the forecasted temperatures are due to be at or below zero degrees for three consecutive nights - Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP).
Cheshire East has been running a SWEP provision for several years but more recently we have adopted a more lenient approach to SWEP and instead of using the actual forecasted temperatures, we have opted to use the “real feel” temperature instead which has meant us being able to provide accommodation to individuals for greater periods of time and working with those individuals to prevent them having to go back onto to streets.