Northampton Hope Centre Statement

Severe Weather Emergency Protocol: SWEP

The Northampton Hope Centre are dedicated to supporting those who are living on the Streets. We provide daily support and campaign for the rights of the homeless community both locally and nationally. We continue to supply, for free, hot food, clothes, showers, access to benefits and other advice and services, as well as support and advocacy for housing and jobs, to people in poor housing or on the streets and they both welcome and value our services, which almost all rough sleepers in our town receive.

We have continued to monitor the weather and have been in regular contact with the council with regards to the activation of SWEP.

The decision to call SWEP is made by the council, although it consults with Hope and NAASH, and whilst we may express our views as part of the behind the scenes discussion, we are not the final decision maker, nor do we operate the scheme, although we offer volunteers to assist in its operation.

We have requested that the activation criteria be reviewed and that, as many other councils have done, that more flexible criteria for its triggering should be in place. We have pushed to ensure that a statement from the council and wider single homelessness partnership is provided following this discussion and that you, the public who care so deeply about our homeless community, are kept informed.

We thank everyone who has shown their support for the homeless community this week and in previous weeks. Be assured that Hope continues to care and will fight for the rights of those who have no voice.

The Hope Centre has continued to provide a service throughout this year when many homeless charities across the country have closed their doors. Our staff and many volunteers are committed and tireless in working for the homeless and wider vulnerable community.