Sheffield firefighters open base for rough sleepers to spend the night
Firefighters in Sheffield have opened their doors to the city's rough sleepers.
South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s headquarters on Eyre Street was converted into a place to stay for people at risk of sleeping on the streets in the cold weather.
The new partnership is in conjunction with the British Red Cross, homeless charity Framework and Sheffield Council.
The scheme is also offering support and advice on how to find accommodation.
During the winter, Sheffield Council activates its 'Severe Weather Emergency Protocol' known locally as Weather Watch, in response to the potential risk to life when the weather is very cold.
The British Red Cross said they responded to a request from Sheffield Council to support at a scheme providing emergency shelter to the homeless during the cold snap.
South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue area manager Tony Carlin, said: “Helping people in need and saving lives is core to our mission as a fire service, so it made perfect sense for us to answer the call for emergency accommodation during the recent cold weather.
“This initiative provides comfort, warmth and shelter for rough sleepers and the homeless and is a clear example of public agencies working together to help some of the most vulnerable people in our area.
“Whilst this was initially a one-off, temporary measure, it’s something we intend to repeat next winter and during any other spells of particularly severe weather as we continue to do what we can as a fire service to make our communities safer.”
Coun Jayne Dunn, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and community safety said: “It’s important to us, particularly with the recent cold temperatures that we have seen over the last week or so, that extra care and shelter is provided for those most in need in the city.
"I’m grateful to all of the partners involved in this initiative who have planned, organised and worked together to make this happen in Sheffield for those who are most vulnerable.
“We’re hoping that those who have been less likely to come indoors in the past will recognise how much they can benefit from taking us up on our offer of support in the future.”