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Cambridge City Council

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Cold-weather support for homeless people

We provide year-round, specialist support for people who are homeless or sleeping rough. We provide services to help do this, and support and commission others.

During the coronavirus pandemic, we have provided safe, self-contained accommodation for over 200 people who be at risk of sleeping rough. This work will continue to the end of March 2021, at the earliest.

We also provide shelter for people who would otherwise have to sleep out in Cambridge in severe weather.

Severe weather emergency provision

Under our severe weather emergency provision (SWEP), beds are available during periods of prolonged cold, damp or windy weather. They are also available at intervals during milder winters to provide respite from the conditions.

There is no single definition of severe weather, but we aim to take a flexible approach based on advice from agencies who deal with people on the street. Last winter we provided accommodation under SWEP for 60 nights.

In previous years, we accommodated SWEP guests in large, shared rooms. This year, because of the coronavirus pandemic, all SWEP guests will have their own room with their own bathroom facilities.

Access to accommodation

SWEP accommodation is available to individuals sleeping rough in Cambridge City. If you are from another district and you are concerned about sleeping rough or being unable to self-isolate, please contact your own local authority.

A number of different support agencies, funded by us, work with people on the street to help them into accommodation.

The agencies approach anybody identified as being on the street to encourage them to make use of a SWEP bed.

If you need to access this additional winter accommodation, contact CGL Street Outreach or our housing advice team using the details below.

How you can help

If you see someone sleeping rough, you can inform the CGL Street Outreach team on 01223 366292 or via the Streetlink website. You can also direct them to our team of advisers during our housing advice opening hours.

In an out-of-hours housing emergency you can call us on 0330 053 8109.

If you see someone who is in need of immediate medical attention, call 999 or 111 (with option 2 for a mental health crisis).

Street Aid

There are many excellent charities in Cambridge who work with us to help people off the streets.

One way you can help is by giving to Street Aid, a charitable fund that helps people who have experienced rough sleeping to access support, accommodation and employment. You can donate on the Street Aid webpage, by text message, or at our contactless giving point at Mandela House.

Contact us