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St Peter Mancroft opens doors to city homeless as snow turns to ice

PUBLISHED: 18:18 28 February 2018 | UPDATED: 10:52 01 March 2018

St Peter Mancroft Church is opening overnight to give beds to the homeless. Picture: Neil Scott

St Peter Mancroft Church is opening overnight to give beds to the homeless. Picture: Neil Scott

(c) copyright newzulu.com

St Peter Mancroft will be opening its doors to rough sleepers for three nights as the city suffers from widespread snow and ice.

The ‘Beast from the East’ brought more than 20cm of snow to areas across the county, causing chaos to road and rail.

Norwich City Council activated its Severe Weather Emergency Procedure (SWEP) last week after temperatures failed to rise above freezing for three nights in a row.

It means between 13 and 15 extra beds are available each night, and the city council has said they have found beds for 33 rough sleepers since Friday.

Jane Sheldon, chief executive officer at of St Martins Housing, said: “An outreach team goes out three or four times a week to let rough sleepers know about our services, not just when SWEP is activated.

“It involves many different groups so for example people who may be having breakfast at Arc on Pottergate, run by the Salvation Army, they will be informed that SWEP is in place.”

A spokeswoman for Norwich City Council said: “We have found beds for 33 rough sleepers since Friday. We are working with St Peter Mancroft, partner agencies and volunteers to provide shelter and additional beds in the church from tonight.”

The church will be open to those who need hot food and a bed from this evenig until Saturday between 8pm and 8am.

Anyone who encounters people who are homeless and rough sleeping is urged to notify the city council by emailing roughsleepers@norwich.gov.uk

For emergency assistance with finding accommodation call 0344 980 33 33.

A website called Street Link allows anyone to alert local authorities and charities in England to rough sleepers in their area.

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