The Salvation Army has launched an emergency shelter action plan to ensure homeless people are protected against harsh weather conditions in Lancashire over the Winter.
Rough sleeping has increased by 165 per cent since 2010 and the Church and charity is braced to offer support as it prepares for its busy Christmas period.
A network of ‘pop up’ emergency shelters as part of a Severe Weather Emergency Protocol will be opened by local authorities, other churches, faith groups and charities as soon as the temperature drops to dangerous levels.
Robert Long, regional manager for The Salvation Army homelessness services in the North West said: “If we don’t provide emergency shelter, people could die from exposure.
“The Salvation Army provides shelter and tailored support for people forced to sleep rough all year round but, during winter, we join our partners to put an extra layer of provision in place.
“We find that many people who normally bed down outside will accept help knowing that their normal shelter cannot protect them from the elements.”
There will be more than 250 emergency sheltered spaces available in churches and Lifehouse so that rough sleepers can find a safe, warm place to stay for the night.
Meanwhile The Salvation Army is calling for the next Government to invest in supported housing which provides a home but also services to tackle the root causes of homelessness which can be anything from poor mental health, chronic illness or addiction.