Emergency beds laid out for Dacorum rough sleepers in big freeze

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A homeless charity laid on extra emergency beds to rough sleepers to help keep them out of the freezing cold.

DENS instigated its own Severe Weather Emergency Protocol after consecutive days of snow left temperatures as low as -6 degrees.

CEO Wendy Lewington said: “We literally turn the meeting rooms at our base at the Elms into a larger crash-pad, putting mattresses and bedding down.

“The beds are available to anyone who otherwise would have nowhere to stay.

“The only criteria is the person isn’t so intoxicated they are a risk to themselves or others. If this is the case, we would contact emergency services.”

Over the past week DENS have had about six people use the emergency provision each night - in addition to the 44 people who are currently staying at The Elms.

The rough sleepers received a warm meal as well as a roof over their head during the cold snap, which lasted until Monday.

Mrs Lewington added: “I know a number of our supporters were concerned about people who are homeless and particularly those who were sleeping rough.

“We did all we could to ensure no-one was sleeping out in this terrible weather.”

For more information, including volunteering, donations for the Foodbank or Warehouse, then please email office@dens.org.uk or call 01442 262274