Extra beds ready for Doncaster rough sleepers during cold snap - but some still choosing the street.

Rough sleepers in Doncaster town centre are still turning down accommodation offers, despite plunging temperatures.

Thursday, 1st March 2018, 10:29 am
Updated Thursday, 1st March 2018, 11:30 am
Action is being taken to help the homeless during Doncaster's cold snap

Doncaster Council's complex lives team is ramping up support with extra accommodation spaces for people who sleep on the streets, and are working 9am until 9pm to speak to people on the street and offer them accommodation tonight.

But a hard core of people are still turning the offers down, with five saying 'no' last night.

Pat Hagan, who heads the team, said he and his team were working closely with St Leger Homes and Riverside, who run the Doncaster hostel on Wharf Road, to make extra beds available for anyone requiring help.

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His team have also been out on the streets approaching those who are there, and tracking down anyone they know who usually sleeps on the streets, to offer them spaces.

He said: "Anyone sleeping outdoors, if they are wanting assistance and accommodation, we will provide it.

"To do that, our complex lives team and the Riverside team have been out from 9am until 9pm, going out to all the people we know that we are able to locate to offer them assistance and support, no questions asked.

"Not all the accommodation is in the town centre, and if it is not, we are providing travel passes and food parcel. If people refuse, we will go back and offer again.

"Yesterday there were six or seven who before, were refusing help, who did accept it. We are out again today, and will continue to do so while ever this cold snap continues.

"If anyone knows of someone they are concerned about, we will try to locate them. We are also involving the police in that.

"There are people who have refused accommodation. Five refused yesterday.

"Some people we saw again later at the Changing Lives food kitchen, and reminded them again. We would rather annoy them and give them the message again than leave them without the option of a bed."

Accommodation is being made available at Wharf House, Open House, empty council houses, and The Foyer. Housing Associations are also providing assistance.

Hostels that usually only open in the evenings have also been staying open during the daytime to offer warmth.

Despite rumours on Facebook, the Dome leisure centre is not being used as a homeless shelter.

Mr Hagan is urging anyone who has information or concerns about an individual to call 01302 736000. His team will follow it up.