Help is at hand for the homeless in the Banbury area during the freeze

Help is at hand for the homeless or rough sleepers in the Banbury area during the current freeze.
Cherwell District Council offers help to rough sleepers during the current freeze. Library picture by Getty ImagesCherwell District Council offers help to rough sleepers during the current freeze. Library picture by Getty Images
Cherwell District Council offers help to rough sleepers during the current freeze. Library picture by Getty Images

Cherwell District Council provides housing advice and support for people who find themselves sleeping rough. During freezing temperatures such as have been experienced in the last week, the council implements its Severe Weather Emergency Protocol.

This is designed to take all possible steps to avoid deaths on the streets due to people sleeping rough during severe weather conditions. This may include providing accommodation for those not usually owed emergency duties, or providing places of shelter or advice on staying safe.

The council is also making regular welfare checks on rough sleepers who refuse the accommodation offer.

The council’s website says: “If you have nowhere to sleep tonight or are concerned about someone who is homeless or sleeping rough, contact our Housing Options Team on 01295 753751 (Monday - Friday 9am - 5:15pm) or 01295 221531 out of hours, or email us at [email protected].”

Public agencies now have the Duty to Refer households they believe are homeless or at risk of homelessness, where they have consent of the household to do so.

Members of the public concerned about someone who is sleeping rough can report this via StreetLink at https://www.streetlink.org.uk/. This is a national service to inform local authorities about people sleeping rough in their areas and helps to connect people to local services and support.

Streetlink says: “If you are concerned about someone over the age of 18 that you have seen sleeping rough, you can use (our) website to send an alert to StreetLink.The details you provide are sent to the local authority or outreach service for the area in which you have seen the person, to help them find the individual and connect them to support.

"It is important to note that if you think the person you are concerned about is under 18 please do not contact StreetLink but instead call the police.”

The council says: “We have produced a useful guide identifying different services available in our district to help if you find yourself homeless or are concerned about someone who is. Download our Homeless Pocket Guide, or pick up a copy Bodicote House.

“During very cold weather, we operate additional provision for people sleeping rough.”