As temperatures plummet work continues to help rough sleepers in Cambridge.
For the third year running, 20 individual rooms, all of them with their own ensuite facilities, are available for people who need them at a site close to the city centre, managed by the local charity It Takes a City (ITaC).
The winter provision forms part of a wide network of services offered by the Cambridge City Council and its partners to help people find and sustain accommodation, and to access the support they need to leave rough sleeping behind them.
Many of the rough sleepers the council supports have significant physical and mental health challenges, or long-standing problems with trauma or addiction.
Nobody can be compelled to accept or remain in accommodation offered to them, and some people who are used to being part of a street-based community find it very difficult to remain in accommodation off the streets.
However, rough sleepers in Cambridge do not need to beg for money to access a place to sleep, meals or bathroom facilities at any time of year – an offer of support is there for everyone once they have been verified by the local Street Outreach Team and they are ready to access it.
Services are available free thanks to the network of organisations who form the Streets to Homes service in the city.
Gerri Bird, Executive Councillor for Housing and Homelessness:
"I’m very pleased that we will again be working with It Takes A City and our other partners to provide secure, warm and welcoming accommodation for people across the winter months.
"Just as important as the accommodation itself is the opportunity this gives people to access personalised advice and support, which we hope will help people move on permanently from rough sleeping and into safe, longer-term accommodation."
These are the ways can help rough sleepers in Cambridge:
1. Reporting if someone is sleeping rough via Streetlink by calling 0300 500 0914 or visiting www.streetlink.org.uk
2. Donating to Cambridge Street Aid, the charitable fund helping people to get off, and stay off, the streets. This can be done via one of the many contactless giving points in the city or via the online giving page: www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/cambridgeshirecommunity/csa
3. Visiting the Street Support website for further details of the services operating in the city: https://streetsupport.net/cambridge/