Help for the Homeless this Winter

Emergency accommodation is again being offered to rough sleepers this winter during severe cold weather in North Devon.

North Devon Council and Torridge District Council help to provide the service at the Freedom Centre in Barnstaple, which offers shelter to individuals if the temperature drops below zero for three consecutive nights. A warm breakfast is also offered, as well as information about where they can turn to for further help.

North Devon Council’s Executive Member for Housing, Cllr Faye Webber, says: “This is a vital service that can make a huge difference to some people. It provides rough sleepers with somewhere warm and safe to sleep on our coldest nights. It also offers them sound advice to try to help them make the first steps in moving away from homelessness in the future.”

Torridge District Council’s Lead Member for Housing, Cllr David Lausen, says: “These shelters are a lifeline for people who find themselves with nowhere else to turn in a crisis. They offer a vital place of contact where rough sleepers can receive support and understanding, but primarily offer a place of refuge in severe weather conditions. The dedication and expertise of the staff running these projects is crucial, without whom we would not be able to offer an effective service.”

When the emergency accommodation service is running, posters will be on display at:

  • Civic Centre, Barnstaple
  • Freedom Centre, Barnstaple
  • Barnstaple Police Station
  • The Ilfracombe Centre
  • The Amory Centre, South Molton
  • McColls Store, The Quay, Bideford
  • Co-op Store, Westward Ho!
  • Co-op Store, Holsworthy
  • Spar Store, Torrington

Rough sleepers can then access the Freedom Centre on Eastern Avenue between 8pm and 10pm. After 10pm, entry is by a referral from the police, hospital or the council’s out of hours team.

For further homelessness and housing advice, phone 01271 388870, email customerservices@northdevon.gov.uk or go to www.northdevon.gov.uk/housing.

For advice from Torridge District Council, phone 01237 428849, email housing.options@torridge.gov.uk or go to www.torridge.gov.uk/housing.