Guest column: Helping the homeless beat the big freeze

Coun Simon Greaves
Coun Simon Greaves

The weather has probably been the biggest talking point this week with snowy conditions blanketing the majority of the UK.

We’ve had our fair share of the white stuff in Bassetlaw and as well as causing problems on the roads, it has also affected our day-to-day council services, such as bin collections and the running of the markets.

To stay up to date on any service issues caused by the weather, please check the council’s website or Facebook and Twitter pages.

We have also been addressing the vital issue of homelessness by providing a temporary severe weather night shelter at Crown Place Community Centre in Worksop.

Severe weather night shelters are set up when the outside temperature is set to drop below zero for three consecutive nights.

The community centre provides a safe and warm environment where rough sleepers can stay the night, use the toilet facilities and make a hot drink.

We will be keeping this open until at least Sunday night, and possibly longer, depending on the weather and the number of people using the shelter.

Outreach workers are in regular contact with rough sleepers and have spoken to the majority of homeless people they are aware of to inform them when the shelter will be open.

They are also attempting to locate and inform the remaining individuals.

Unfortunately, we are unable to accept blankets, clothing or food and anyone wanting to use the shelter should arrive before midnight.

Those people who are not already in Worksop have been offered transport to the shelter, in addition to bus and train tickets should they wish to travel of their own accord.

Homelessness is a complex problem and there is no quick fix.

However, the council is continually working with the individuals concerned and the relevant agencies to place people in the most appropriate accommodation.