Homelessness - Help for rough sleepers

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Severe Weather Emergency Provision (SWEP) - Emergency Homes for Rough Sleepers

The Council want to ensure that no-one is sleeping rough on the streets, and have a legal obligation to provide shelter for rough sleepers when the temperature drops below freezing, this is known as Severe Weather Emergency Provision (SWEP). In the past, emergency accommodation was only available on a drop in-basis at a local homeless hostel, fire station or community centre.  However, we know that this kind of shared facility can simply be too stressful for entrenched rough sleepers and they were choosing not to use the service.

Therefore, as in the previous two years, we have properties in Worksop and Retford available for immediate short-term occupation.  These will have gas, electricity, hot water, and be equipped with essential household items to make the accommodation comfortable.

If anyone is sleeping on the streets and wants to access SWEP, they must be prepared to work with the Housing Needs Team and accept a full package of support from agencies such as the Street Outreach Team, CGL, health professionals and others as this is not a quick fix, drop-in system, it is a plan to change their lifestyle and move away from rough sleeping permanently.

Anyone wanting to access SWEP must contact the Council’s Housing Needs Team as soon as possible so an assessment of their needs and circumstances can be arranged and carried out.  During the assessment the Housing Options Officer, in conjunction with the person and support providers, will decide which type of accommodation will best suit their needs and end their immediate homelessness situation.  A Personalised Housing Plan (PHP) will then be created with the person and those who are supporting them, which will show their pathway to ending rough sleeping permanently. This will be kept under review and may change.  The person will be expected to contribute to their housing pathway and will be required to take some “reasonable steps”. If they fail to do so accommodation may be withdrawn.

Anyone placed in SWEP accommodation will remain there for a short period of time to give them time to adjust to their new way of life and receive support services. At an appropriate time in the future, they will then be moved on into more settled, permanent accommodation.

Anyone sleeping rough and requiring emergency accommodation should telephone Bassetlaw District Council in the first instance:

Bassetlaw District Council:

Housing Needs Team - 01909 533 533 (Mon – Friday 9am – 5pm)
01909 534999 (5pm – 9am Mon – Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays)

Other agencies offering homelessness services

Nottinghamshire Street Outreach Team

Service delivered by Framework and offers help and support to rough sleepers across the county. They carry out regular checks of locations where rough sleepers are known to bed down so that advice and practical assistance can be provided with a view to finding accommodation and getting help with benefits, mental and physical health problems, drug and alcohol problems and accessing support.

0800 066 5356 (Freephone 24 hours)

Hope Community Services

Community based homelessness charity located in Worksop, which provides Nottinghamshire’s only 24/7 direct access emergency hostel, Hope House.  Hope House can support up to 22 homeless people in crisis and offer 1 to 1 support and move on accommodation which is designed to provide a stepping stone between homelessness and independent living.

Tel: 01909 489 990

Framework Housing Association

Housing Association offering supported accommodation at 55/57 Potter Street, Worksop, move on accommodation at other locations, and the Moving Forward service for those experiencing mental health difficulties. The Moving Forward service works in close partnership with the statutory mental health teams, other voluntary services, carers, groups and communities to provide skills and support needed for independent living.

CGL (Change, Grow, Live)

Free, confidential advice and support service for adults with drug and alcohol problems.  Based in Worksop and works in partnership with statutory and voluntary organisations to offer help and advice to safely reduce alcohol and drug intake, find accommodation, address health needs, claim benefits, get financial advice.

Tel: 0115 896 0798

DWP (Department of Works and Pensions)

Based at Queen’s Buildings, Worksop, the DWP offers advice on claiming benefits and employment between the hours of 9am – 5pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and 10am – 5pm Wednesday. They can also make referrals to the Housing Needs Team for emergency accommodation if a person is homeless. This is known as a Duty to Refer in accordance with the Homeless Reduction Act 2018.

Tel: 0800 169 0190

Nottinghamshire Police

Police Community Support Officers and Police Officers can help anyone sleeping rough to access support and accommodation.

Tel: 101 (non-emergency) or 999 (emergency)

Local And Community Faith Based Organisations

Street Pastors

Trained volunteers from local churches who patrol Worksop and Retford town centres on Friday and Saturday nights between 10.30pm – 3.00am to listen to, support and help those who are rough sleeping. The work in partnership with Nottinghamshire Police and other statutory and voluntary organisations.

St. John’s Church, Overend Road, Worksop

Provides Drop-In sessions on Thursdays between 4.30pm and 8pm in the Church Hall.

The Well, Baptist Church, Hospital Road, Retford

Provides daily community services such as debt advice, counselling, food bank referrals and luncheon club.

The Crossing, Newcastle Avenue, Worksop

Offers community activities on a daily basis.

Salvation Army, Newcastle Avenue, Worksop

Offer help and support with addiction problems and finding accommodation. Coffee mornings held Wednesday and Saturday 10am – 12 noon.

How to help someone who is sleeping rough

Giving food, clothes and money directly to rough sleepers is not the best way to help and can do more harm than good.  This only enables the rough sleeping cycle to continue and fails to encourage people to address problems such as committing crimes, violent and threatening behaviour, drug and alcohol addition, mental health difficulties and poor health.  

  • Telephone Bassetlaw District Council’s Housing Needs Team or Anti-Social Behaviour Team on 01909 533 533 (Mon – Friday 9am – 5pm)
  • Make an online report using the Council’s website - Make a Homeless Enquiry
  • Telephone Framework Street Outreach Team on 0800 066 5356 (free from landlines and mobiles)
  • Make a report to Streetlink using the online form
  • Donate food to the local food bank or in supermarkets
  • Donate furniture and clothes to local charities

Useful contacts



Last Updated on Tuesday, January 3, 2023