As temperatures continue to drop, local councils have issued advice for members of the public who are concerned about people they may think are homeless.
If members of the public do spot someone, who they believe to be homeless and in need of a place to stay, there are several options available to help them get access to support.
We have asked councils in the area for ways in which members of the public can get in touch.
Amber Valley Borough Council:
In Amber Valley, members of the public are advised to complete an online form to notify the council of people suspected to be homeless, so it can provide the appropriate support.
To refer someone suspected to be homeless in Amber Valley, with their permission, fill out this form: hpa2.org/refer/FHL
If you are homeless due to an emergency situation and cannot get to the council offices before 4pm on weekdays, please telephone ‘Call Derbyshire’ for advice and assistance on 08456 058058 or 01629 532600 after 5pm or at weekends or bank holidays.
Derby City Council:
Derby has an “inter-agency protocol” for the Severe Weather Emergency Provision for Rough Sleepers.
This covers the whole of the winter period from 1 December 2, 2018 until March 31, 2019.
It involves coordinated services that include outreach work, night shelters, and access to emergency accommodation and housing/homeless advice.
The Housing Option Centre at the Council House will be open for business and will offer a homelessness service/advice over the Christmas period.
People can visit the Council House or call 01332 640 085 on Monday 24, Thursday 27, Friday 28 and Monday 31 December between 9am – 5pm.
Outside the above days and times, people can call Careline on 01332 786 968.
Derby City Mission:
It coordinates the Derby Churches Nightshelter, which is a partnership of seven churches in and around the city centre.
It can be contacted at 25 Charnwood Street, Derby, DE1 2GU or on 01332 460 346.
Staff are on hand at all of these churches to offer support and provide sleeping bags and blankets and a “substantial meal” for up to 35 people each night.
Before leaving at 8am the next morning, guests tuck into a healthy breakfast of cereals, toast and fresh fruit. Many are given ongoing support to address their needs.
The city council also has a Rehousing Engagement Support Team (REST) Outreach team.
The REST team offers an outreach service and are also working out and around Derby over the Christmas break on December 22, 24, 27, 28, 30 and 31, providing support to anyone found to be rough sleeping and arranging access to emergency accommodation.
The team will monitor, liaise, signpost and give support to anyone rough sleeping and the people accessing emergency accommodation and the Churches Nightshelter.
Erewash Borough Council:
The Ilkeston winter shelter will be opening on Christmas Day until the end of February.
The shelter is for both men and women and is based at St John’s Church, Nottingham Road, Ilkeston.
There are 12 beds operating on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open at 9.30pm.
Pets are allowed but they must be kept in pet carriers at the side of the bed.
No drugs or alcohol are allowed in the shelter.
To contact the shelter call 07702 499 976 or email ilkestonwintershelter@outlook.
The night shelter is not directly connected to Erewash Borough Council and is a local community initiative hosted by the church.
Erewash Borough Council has a Severe Weather Emergency Protocol in place. In the event that the weather is anticipated to be severe for three consecutive nights the council will offer anyone sleeping rough temporary accommodation.
The council’s neighbourhood wardens can assist rough sleepers during this period, including help and advice to get them to shelter.
Outside of normal office hours and when the council’s offices are closed for Christmas, please call 01629 533 078 if you are homeless.
During normal office hours, people who think that they are threatened with homelessness or are homeless are encouraged to call the Housing Options Team on 0115 907 2244 x3590 or email them on firstname.lastname@example.org
South Derbyshire District Council:
SDDC can provide temporary accommodation which could, in emergencies, be bed and breakfast accommodation, or it could be supported accommodation, reserved for use by homeless families.
To speak to an officer during working hours, telephone 01283 228 773.
Alternatively, if you need to speak to an officer outside of normal working hours, telephone 0845 605 8058 or 01629 532 600.
Derbyshire Dales District Council:
There are no homeless shelters in the Dales, but the council does operate the Severe Cold Weather provision, a Government initiative where the authority will provide emergency accommodation to anyone sleeping rough if the weather is predicted to be zero or below for three or more days.
Anyone facing sleeping rough in the Derbyshire Dales should contact the Home-Options Team on 01629 761 181 during opening times or the out of hours number at all other times: 08456 058 058 or 01629 532 600.
There is also a Chesterfield Churches Night Shelter operating in Chesterfield this year.
To get in touch, call 07926 617 977 between 8pm and 8am, and during office hours call Pathways on 01246 498 204.
By Eddie Bisknell