Birmingham City Council has activated it’s Severe Weather Emergency Provision (SWEP) protocol for rough sleepers as temperatures are expected to fall well below freezing tonight.

The SWEP protocol is initiated in Birmingham whenever there is a yellow weather warning in place, or whenever temperatures have a real feel of zero degrees or below.

SWEP opens up rest rooms across supported hostels and is particularly aimed at the harder to reach rough sleepers to prevent them from being out in the most severe weather. It provides a hot meal and breakfast and an opportunity to try and engage with those accessing the provision. This provision ensures that for anyone who wants it, there is a safe space indoors available for them.

Anyone who is sleeping rough across Birmingham will be able to access cold weather provision. This includes pet owners, couples, individuals whose needs might be more complex and those who have no recourse to public funds.

When the temperature drops, centres will open to rough sleepers from 8pm to 8am and then continue to be open on subsequent nights, until the temperature increases. There is 135 spaces available in total.

The city has also partnered with new providers to expand the cold weather spaces available should demand exceed this capacity and identified options should the weather reach extreme red warning conditions.

If your concerned about a rough sleeper the best way you can help is by reporting it to StreetLink at www.streetlink.org.uk