What we are doing to help rough sleepers and those at risk of becoming homeless
Rough sleeping is a major problem in towns and cities across the UK. In Swindon, the number of people sleeping rough has increased significantly over the past few years. There are estimated to be between 20 and 30 people in Swindon who are sleeping on the streets at any given time.
We are committed to reducing the numbers of rough sleepers by providing valuable services.
Here’s what we do on a daily basis:
- Offer an emergency walk-in service for people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness within the next seven days
- Engage with rough sleepers and carry out regular assessments of their needs
- Work with partners to provide safe and secure accommodation
- Provide helpful information through the Swindon HomeGuide service
We spend £1.4m on supported housing projects and outreach services every year. This includes the provision of two direct access hostels with 70 bed spaces. This includes additional emergency spaces so that no-one should sleep rough out of necessity.
During colder weather we invoke the severe weather emergency protocol. When temperatures fall to zero degrees Celsius for three or more consecutive nights, additional accommodation is made available to ensure nobody sleeps rough. You can let us know about people who may need this service by making a report via the StreetLink website.
During the winter months, the council and its partners set up a temporary winter housing provision scheme. This is a new and successful concept whereby up to 12 rough sleepers join a 12-week programme to help them move into long-term accommodation.
As well as providing comprehensive housing advice for anyone who approaches us about homelessness, we also operate a prevention fund to enable people to remain in their own homes or find new homes quickly.