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Providing shelter during freezing weather for people rough sleeping 

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Peabody recently supported Islington Council’s Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) response by providing spaces for people rough sleeping in two of our supported housing schemes in the borough.

Published: 29/02/2024

Whenever the temperature drops to 0°C, all London councils activate the SWEP response. This involves working with partner organisations like Peabody to provide emergency accommodation for people who don’t have a home.  

We’ve participated in Islington’s Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) each winter for the last five years. 

Our teams prepared for the cold weather by getting a kettle, microwave, bedding and food ready. Then, when the alarm sounded, two rough sleepers moved into the schemes to stay warm. They received daily, tailored support with things like signing up for benefits, filling in forms and connecting with the Islington Customer Centre for housing options. 

One of the people we supported said: “Thank you very much. It’s been beautiful!” 

Mairi Brown, the Team Manager at one of our mental health schemes, added: “By providing a warm, friendly home for a few days, we gave rough sleepers a respite from the cold. We helped them stay safe, get back on their feet and avoid going back to the streets. Seeing people engaging with the council’s housing team and move into more permanent accommodation (even if it’s a B&B) make this so worthwhile, as it shows the real impact of this initiative.” 

Throughout the year, our two supported housing schemes that were involved in this initiative assist people who have experienced homelessness and have support needs. By providing tailored support, many of our residents gain stability and independence, eventually moving into longer-term accommodation. 

We provide specialist homes and support in 40 local authority areas in the South East, helping over 17,000 people to improve their quality of life. Learn more about our care and support services 

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