This winter at Concrete, we’re working with partners and local authorities to deliver Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP).
SWEP is in place to protect people who are rough sleeping during periods of severe and cold weather.
The protocol operates during any period of severe weather, such as when the temperature drops to zero degrees, or lower, from November to March.
SWEP is also delivered when there is a weather warning for prolonged rain or snow.
This is to make sure that people who are sleeping rough can move away from the streets and access secure accommodation and appropriate services.
At Concrete, we’re working with customers and partners to protect people who are rough sleeping during the cold winter months.
Operations Manager Gemma Finn shared more about the protocol.
Gemma said: “Severe weather is when the temperature is forecast to drop to zero degrees, or lower, each day during the winter period. The Met Office forecast will be used, and SWEP protocol will be put into place on the first day of that forecast.
“SWEP operates outside the usual homelessness eligibility and entitlement frameworks that normally control access to housing.
“It applies to people who have no other alternative but to sleep rough during a period of severe weather and are willing to engage with services.
“As the provision is weather dependent, it’s difficult to know how many days it may remain active during the SWEP period, which is from November to March.
“But from local experience, this can range from 10 to 20 SWEP nights.”
When the weather improves and temperatures are forecast to increase, SWEP protocol comes to an end. However, this is slightly different this year due to the pandemic.
Gemma explained: “Due to the current Covid-19 situation, some flexibility will be given to ending SWEP based on short-term forecasts.
“This is to support Public Health England’s guidance on safe practice for managing accommodation and minimising risks surrounding infection control.”