Bradford homeless campaign appeals for voluntary help

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Bradford Chief Reporter

An emergency scheme to provide a warm bed for those sleeping rough as temperatures plunge below zero has been activated for 48 nights since it started in October – a increase of 14 nights since last year.

It takes place from October 1 to April 30 to stop rough sleepers dying on the streets. Hope Housing, a charity which along with 12 other voluntary and community organisations, and Bradford Council, offers the service.

Hope Housing said that a cold snap in November and the recent freezing spell, with temperatures dropping to minus 9C, had led to increased demand, with 20 people a night accessing their service.

In the year 2011-12, there were 34 nights when the provision was activated. Adam Clarke, the project co-ordinator at Hope Housing, said that the Council was leading the way by being open every night when the temperatures hit zero rather than three nights in a row before opening like neighbouring authorities.

He urged anyone who knows of someone sleeping in abandoned buildings to contact them.

“We open extra bed spaces by using communal spaces in hostels and organisations go above and beyond what they normally do as part of this provision,” he said.

“We go above the national guidelines of opening after three nights at zero or below to opening every night in those circumstances to provide rough sleepers from dying in freezing conditions.

“This provision has been going for five years and if the rooms and hostels get full, the Council will pay for someone to go into a Bed and Breakfast.

“We were open for ten days over Christmas as a goodwill gesture and then for two weeks in November.

“Now it is seriously cold and we are giving people food parcels put together with the help of a dietician.

“If the temperature changes during the day the provision will still remain open. The temperature is due to drop to minus 9 this week and people are not going to sleep out in that. We want to make sure people don’t stay out on the streets, we are there to prevent people dying.”

Councillor Val Slater, Bradford Council's executive member for housing, planning and transport, said it was a welcome scheme.

The charity has been awarded £5,000 from the Government’s Warm Homes scheme to help emergency sleepers access more long term accommodation.

Anyone needing help should e-mail contact@hopehousing.org.uk.

Comments (6)

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10:23am Thu 17 Jan 13

Joedavid says...

Why not convert an unused building(s) into a place for these homeless people to sleep and live in.
Why not convert an unused building(s) into a place for these homeless people to sleep and live in. Joedavid
  • Score: 0

10:24am Thu 17 Jan 13

ertnec says...

The issue with people sleeping rough in cold weather has gone on for so long is it not about time that more people got involved in looking around there own communities to see of different places were people can get a bed and warmth. What about the Hotels and b/breakfasts in Bradford I'm sure there could do more to offer accommodation for the needy at better costs or so many even FREE come everybody but your hands in your pockets and dig deep. And Government start looking at the Homeless as more and more people will be Homeless in the future.
The issue with people sleeping rough in cold weather has gone on for so long is it not about time that more people got involved in looking around there own communities to see of different places were people can get a bed and warmth. What about the Hotels and b/breakfasts in Bradford I'm sure there could do more to offer accommodation for the needy at better costs or so many even FREE come everybody but your hands in your pockets and dig deep. And Government start looking at the Homeless as more and more people will be Homeless in the future. ertnec
  • Score: 0

10:43am Thu 17 Jan 13

Albion. says...

ertnec wrote:
The issue with people sleeping rough in cold weather has gone on for so long is it not about time that more people got involved in looking around there own communities to see of different places were people can get a bed and warmth. What about the Hotels and b/breakfasts in Bradford I'm sure there could do more to offer accommodation for the needy at better costs or so many even FREE come everybody but your hands in your pockets and dig deep. And Government start looking at the Homeless as more and more people will be Homeless in the future.
The situation has worsened since the Salvation Army closed their place, with the loss of over 60 beds.
[quote][p][bold]ertnec[/bold] wrote: The issue with people sleeping rough in cold weather has gone on for so long is it not about time that more people got involved in looking around there own communities to see of different places were people can get a bed and warmth. What about the Hotels and b/breakfasts in Bradford I'm sure there could do more to offer accommodation for the needy at better costs or so many even FREE come everybody but your hands in your pockets and dig deep. And Government start looking at the Homeless as more and more people will be Homeless in the future.[/p][/quote]The situation has worsened since the Salvation Army closed their place, with the loss of over 60 beds. Albion.
  • Score: 0

1:50pm Thu 17 Jan 13

Joedavid says...

Yes Albion how did that happen not like the Salvation Army at all.
Yes Albion how did that happen not like the Salvation Army at all. Joedavid
  • Score: 0

2:05pm Thu 17 Jan 13

Albion. says...

Joedavid wrote:
Yes Albion how did that happen not like the Salvation Army at all.
They still own the building but I don't know what they use it for these days.
[quote][p][bold]Joedavid[/bold] wrote: Yes Albion how did that happen not like the Salvation Army at all.[/p][/quote]They still own the building but I don't know what they use it for these days. Albion.
  • Score: 0

4:27pm Thu 17 Jan 13

Not so simple says...

Bradford council has a legal duty to house the homeless.

The duty was passed onto a private company called Incommunities and Bradford advice team. I believe this is correct. The way Incommunities aka BCHT was setup is also rather dodgy and odd with the common sense but that's another story.

I've known people who worked for Bradford councils housing dept, it's benefit service, advice service and now the private company called Incommunities. I can say that most report what a poor service the homeless and poor get from these sources. The charities are over stretched. Many are left in hostels and refuges. Many are turned away by the system and are labelled transient population...people who slip the net are many and many cannot be helped as they do not meet the criteria. The choices based lettings system is a failure...trust me you need to speak to some of these ex staff. Staff who left as they just had enough of the incompetence of these so called service providers.

The charities cannot cope with the amount of rough sleepers and the problems associated with them.

Various charities are fighting over the same pot of funding and as a result deliver sub standard services.

Each year many millions are put aside from us tax payers to pay for the homeless duties of the council, why are the council wasting this money and asking volunteers to house the homeless.

City hall is empty at night, put em there. Let the councillors and the management take the homeless home....can't see that happening.
Bradford council has a legal duty to house the homeless. The duty was passed onto a private company called Incommunities and Bradford advice team. I believe this is correct. The way Incommunities aka BCHT was setup is also rather dodgy and odd with the common sense but that's another story. I've known people who worked for Bradford councils housing dept, it's benefit service, advice service and now the private company called Incommunities. I can say that most report what a poor service the homeless and poor get from these sources. The charities are over stretched. Many are left in hostels and refuges. Many are turned away by the system and are labelled transient population...people who slip the net are many and many cannot be helped as they do not meet the criteria. The choices based lettings system is a failure...trust me you need to speak to some of these ex staff. Staff who left as they just had enough of the incompetence of these so called service providers. The charities cannot cope with the amount of rough sleepers and the problems associated with them. Various charities are fighting over the same pot of funding and as a result deliver sub standard services. Each year many millions are put aside from us tax payers to pay for the homeless duties of the council, why are the council wasting this money and asking volunteers to house the homeless. City hall is empty at night, put em there. Let the councillors and the management take the homeless home....can't see that happening. Not so simple
  • Score: 0

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