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BASILDON’S emergency night shelter will officially open tonight, to offer the homeless refuge from freezing cold weather this winter.
Temperatures have begun dropping below zero overnight since the weekend.
The night shelter will take in rough sleepers seven nights per week until the end of March.
A homeless man, Lee Tyler, died in Basildon town centre on Saturday, November 9. No cause of death is yet known.
Last year, nearly 100 rough sleepers made use of the Basildon shelter scheme.
It is run by roughly 170 volunteers from five faith groups across seven locations, with beds available at different sites on different nights of the week.
Basildon Council leader Gavin Callaghan said: “The night shelter provides a safe and warm place for people to sleep over in the cold winter months. This can be a dangerous time for people on the streets.
“I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank the public for their generosity, donating non-perishable food and blankets to the shelters, as well as those who have used the StreetLink app to refer rough sleepers to the service.”
The StreetLink app allows members of the public to report concerns about rough sleepers in specific locations, so outreach teams can visit them and try to help them.
Basildon Council provides funding to homeless charity St Mungo’s for three street impact workers, who make contact with rough sleepers and try to put them in touch with services that can help get them off the streets.
*StreetLink can be contacted via its app or by dialling 0300 500 0914.
The emergency night shelter can be contacted by dialling 07375 622117 or emailing [email protected].