Saturday, March 25News For London

Emergency protocol activated in Harrow to help rough sleepers this winter

SWEP has been activated by the Harrow council to help the homeless people in and around the town

A Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) has been activated by the Harrow council, as temperatures have dropped rapidly. Harrow is likely to witness temperatures as low as minus four degrees in the upcoming week.

As a part of the protocol, people sleeping on the streets will be provided emergency accommodation to cope with the ongoing winters. This will be done by the council’s Homelessness Prevention & Solutions team in partnership with local foundations in Harrow.

FirmFoundation is one of the many registered charities that has partnered with the council to help the homeless. The team aims to find practical and sustainable solutions to help those living on the streets.

The foundation provides dormitory style homes that can hold up to 12 males and 5 female guests. These guests are either people who are homeless or those who are at the risk of losing their homes. In the past, it has offered accommodation to rough sleepers for up to 2 years.

The council also mentioned on its Facebook handle that if someone notices a rough sleeper, they can immediately contact StreetLink London, an organization that has partnered with the council, to help the public connect the rough sleepers with local authorities that are ready to offer support.

Source: Tom Parsons (Unsplash)

The SWEP is usually activated in a borough to make sure that no one is left sleeping on the streets, regardless of where they belong to.

Additionally, the council also mentioned on Twitter that it has also deployed gritters to clear roads covered with snow. The team will be gritting the roads for the next few days, to keep the roads safe for travel.

Source: Twitter

Harrow council has mentioned that if you see someone suffering on the streets or is a rough sleeper, you can ideally:

  • Call Harrow Homelessness Prevention & Solutions team (020 8424 1093)
  • Get in touch with the StreetLink team (0300 500 0914) or download the application
  • In case of an emergency, you can dial 999. This is in a case that someone needs immediate help.
  • Contact the Harrow council and provide all the details like name of the person, location, description and the time you met the person.

With the winters likely to get worse, immediate action must be taken across the UK, to safeguard the lives of the homeless people.

According to the UK Government, the annual rough sleeping statistics have fallen for the fourth year. Nevertheless, local authorities have been urged to take proactive measures to help people deal with the crisis during the harsh winters, this year.