As you are all aware, like all councils up and down the country, Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council has undertaken lots of work to bring in those who have rough slept in the district and we have moved many on to successful long term placements. There are several ongoing initiatives to try and prevent people from entering the streets, and if they do, then we are working with all of our partners to prevent them from remaining on the streets.
Our current approach is to verify anyone who is rough sleeping via our outreach service, delivered by Porchlight, and once verified, then we will look at accommodating them for the winter period. However our Severe Weather Emergency protocol (SWEP) is designed to be a humanitarian response to severe weather to protect the health and wellbeing of anyone who might be sleeping outside. The aim of the protocol is to provide suitable accommodation for anyone who is sleeping rough during periods of severe weather, which may include extreme cold, heat, wind or rain. Despite our recent successes in accommodating many of our rough sleepers, and that we are accommodating those who are verified as rough sleeping over the winter period, this winter we will still be activating SWEP, as an absolute safety net to prevent anyone from sleeping on the street when the weather is severe.
Due to the severe weather forecast for tonight we will offer services to anyone who is sleeping rough. If you see anyone sleeping rough or are working with anyone who is homeless, please make contact with the housing options and support team on 01732 876067 for advice and assistance. If assistance is required outside of office hours there is an out of hours homelessness service available by calling 01732 844522. Those who are rough sleeping can also refer themselves in by calling the same numbers.
The weather will be monitored daily and an email will be sent out by mid-day on the days when the policy is active. We will email again when the current SWEP period ends.
If you have any questions or concerns for anyone who is sleeping rough please contact the housing options and support team on 01732 876067 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org