Warmth, food and help will be brought to homeless people in Middlesbrough this Christmas thanks to a special event.
The ‘In Out of the Cold’ event will make hot food, helpful information and useful items available to homeless people.
It will also give organisations and agencies an opportunity to come together to help tackle homelessness.
The event takes place in Middlesbrough Town Hall Crypt on Tuesday, December 20, between 1pm-4pm.
It is the second time Middlesbrough has held an ‘In Out of the Cold’ event and it has been organised by a wide range of organisations, including faith and community groups, co-ordinated by Middlesbrough Council.
There will be hot food available, stalls offering information on the various services available for homeless people, homeless shoeboxes, and Christmas music and carols.
Durham Tees Valley Probation Trust are collecting donations such as toiletries and hats and gloves for the shoebox presents.
The shoe boxes, containing useful items, will then be given to homeless people at the event.
Food is being donated by local businesses and FareShare North East.
The food will be prepared by volunteers from STAGES homeless hostel and local drugs and alcohol abstinence charity, Hope North East.
Live music and carols will be provided for free by Middlesbrough based band, The Southmartins. The event is open to the public.
Councillor Charlie Rooney, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said: “The aim of ‘In Out Of The Cold’ is to have a positive event for some of the more excluded people in Middlesbrough.
“We hope it will engage and offer assistance to those who may be entrenched in homelessness or may not realise the number of organisations which can assist them.”
Councils have a statutory duty to provide temporary accommodation for people who are homeless or threatened with it, where they are considered to be priority need, for instance those who have children or people who are vulnerable because of a mental or physical disability.
When there is severe weather conditions with temperatures falling below zero for three consecutive nights, local authorities must provide emergency shelter or temporary accommodation for any rough sleepers regardless of their priority need status.
This is done using facilities such as winter shelters or paying for Bed & Breakfast accommodation for rough sleepers.
Like many areas homelessness has increased in Middlesbrough over recent months, and the number of rough sleepers in the borough is now estimated to be around five.
Middlesbrough Council’s Homelessness Service is delivered by Erimus Housing.
Anyone who can donate items for homeless people such as toiletries, including toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, shower gel and deodorant, warm clothing including jumpers, waterproofs, hats, scarves and gloves, non-perishable food items and sleeping bags is asked to drop them in at the Durham Tees Valley Probation Trust Office at 154 Borough Road, Middlesbrough