Council issues advice on how to protect homeless people in hot weather

Oxford City Council has issued advice for anyone wishing to help those who are homeless during the hot season.

The Met Office is predicting high daytime and nighttime temperatures which are expected to peak at 31 degrees on Friday (June 17).

On Friday, homeless people in Oxfordshire will open O’Hanlon House to anyone who sleeps rough and wants shelter from the sun.

A group of Oxford churches have also opened The Living Room, a referral-only service for up to six people that opens Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

In addition to being sheltered from the heat, The Living Room offers free internet access, shower and laundry facilities, hot and cold beverages and snacks.

The Oxford Street People’s Outreach Team (OxSPOT) will be providing water, mugs and sunscreen to people on the street during their daily rounds, and water is also available at the services of day.

As part of its campaign to reduce the use of single-use plastic water bottles, Refill has set up a network of refill stations across the city.

Participating organizations and businesses display a charging sticker in their shop windows.

You can find a complete list of charging stations by downloading the Refill app.

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If you are concerned about someone sleeping rough, contact the Oxford Street Public Awareness Team (OxSPOT) during office hours on 07590 862049 or email Outreach.Oxford @mungos.org

You can also report a problem via the StreetLink website or app, or by calling 0300 500 0914.

If you think someone’s health is in immediate danger, please call 999.

Homeless people can avoid the sun and get food, showers and shade at day services at The Gatehouse at 10 Woodstock Road.

The Porch Day Center in Magdalen Road is currently operating a restricted service, meaning it is not open for general reception.

If you would like to donate items like water, sunscreen, sunglasses or hats to rough sleepers, you can find details on the Oxfordshire Homelessness Movement website.

Councilor Linda Smith, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: ‘While many of us enjoy sunny weather, the heat can present particular risks for rough sleepers.

“No one should have to sleep rough in Oxford and we believe the best way to do this is to help people come inside where services can engage with them to help them get out of the street.”