Support for rough sleepers in cold weathers - Severe Weather Emergency Protocol


The Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) is activated by the Mayor and Greater London Authority in case of temperatures forecast below freezing anywhere in London.

When SWEP is "activated", the arrangements in Merton are:

  1. If you become aware of a potential rough sleeper, please make a referral, with as much detail as possible about the individual and their location to:

    - SPEAR Outreach Team, during office hours on 020 8404 1481 or 07827 237694;

    - Night Duty during out-of-hours on 020 8770 5000, who will, where appropriate, agree and arrange emergency accommodation.

  2. Rough sleepers can also be advised to attend the Merton Civic Centre, London Road, Morden SM4 5DX, during office hours until 4pm and ask to see a member of the Housing Options Team. Under the SWEP, the Council will source emergency accommodation for anyone verified by the SPEAR Outreach Team as a rough sleeper in the borough of Merton. We recognise however, that particularly outside of usual business hours, independent verification may not be possible and where this is the case, provision of the emergency accommodation will be at the discretion of the Emergency Duty Team officer.

  3. In the first instance, accommodation will be sought through the YMCA in Wimbledon (020 8542 9055) or the Winter Night Shelter, but if this is unavailable, then bed & breakfast accommodation will be arranged, although it may be difficult to arrange bed & breakfast at short notice. Rough sleepers placed out-of-hours should be advised to approach the Merton Housing Advice Service at the Civic Centre, London Road, Morden, SM4 5DX on the following business day, to discuss their options for alternative housing and to review their immediate accommodation needs in the light of the current weather conditions.

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