27 February 2018

Severe weather shelter open during cold snap

The Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) shelter is open this. The SWEP provides shelter for any rough sleeper in the city when conditions are due to be harsh. Rough sleepers are given information on where to go by outreach workers.  

The SWEP shelter is open this week during the forecast freeze at BHT's First Base Day Centre and rough sleepers can go along from 8pm each evening. Updates about further nights the SWEP will open, acting on information from Met Office weather warnings​, will be shared on our winter weather page

The SWEP shelter is run by Brighton Housing Trust (BHT). BHT work with our street outreach service run by St Mungo's. Venues open across the city, depending on the numbers of people in need at the time, so access is co-ordinated by  outreach workers who go out regularly to let people know when SWEP is open. You can tell Streetlink about anyone your concerned about who is rough sleeping and the information will be passed on to local outreach workers. 

We are always as flexible as possible, and adapt to the needs of rough sleepers. We work hard to make sure vulnerable people on are streets are cared for, not just in extreme weather, but throughout the year.

More information about SWEP

Recent media reports inaccurately stated the SWEP is located at the Brighton Centre. The Brighton Centre is not one of the venues used for SWEP.

The Brighton Centre winter night shelter is separate from the SWEP shelter and is not a drop in. There are 30 places allocated by referral only from outreach workers. It was opened in December and is due to close at the Brighton Centre in March. The recent Budget Council meeting agreed funding for the year ahead to look at a shelter for next winter too. 

Cllr Clare Moonan, lead councillor for rough sleeping, explained: “The shelter is scheduled to close on 11 March in the current venue as the Brighton Centre has bookings that need to use the room. We need to retain the Brighton Centre’s function as a major conference centre as it is an important economic asset to the city. We’ve included an additional £165,000 in next year’s budget for night shelter services but we’ll need to review how the night shelter worked this winter before deciding next steps. A report will come to committee in coming months which will include careful consideration about the feasibility of a year-round night shelter.”

More information about the Brighton Centre night shelter: