PRESS RELEASE: Response to fierce reaction on @worcesternews from public about closure of night shelter in Worcester tonight (30th Dec 2016)

Standard

PRESS RELEASE ON WEBSITE – 18.45 BST 30/12/16

It has been reported in the Worcester News today that the emergency night shelter which has been activated since Boxing Day is closing tonight, due to the temperature rising above 0 degrees.

Since the Worcester News announced this (on Facebook), we have been watching extremely closely the reaction from the public about this issue. It is clear that the public are angry and upset about why rough sleepers should be subjected to the cold weather when they have been sheltered from it previously. We’d like to side with the public on this matter, however also educate them in why it is not activated tonight;

The temperature is not forecast low enough to deem the Local Authority (Worcester City Council) to open the emergency provision tonight. Since 2015, the Council has moved to a ‘pop-up’ homeless shelter option over the winter months instead of the 14 week sustained night assessment centre. Hugo’s Earthquake feel like this is not the best option for rough sleepers, however as the money for homeless services has been reducing since before 2015, this is now the option we are left with.

A Campaign spokesperson stated the following:

“We understand the frustration from the public about this closure and to some extent we share this frustration. However we would like to reassure the public that shelter for the homeless will be pushed heavily by the Campaign at the new Worcester Homeless Forum being set up in January. Hugo’s Earthquake doesn’t want any rough sleeper to risk their life on the street if they have a safer option, and we will be working towards this goal in the coming months.”

It has been announced that the Night Shelter WILL BE OPEN on the evening of New Year’s Day (01/01/17) at Magg’s Day Centre.


RELEASED BY PRESS OFFICE – press@hugosearthquake.org

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