Leicester

Extra Leicester hostel beds for cold snap

Extra beds have been organised to keep homeless people off Leicester's streets during the cold weather.

The city council said it was working with other agencies to find an additional 19 spaces, on top of the 10 normally provided in the winter.

Officials said despite the pressure on finances, it was vital people did not have to sleep rough.

Record early cold weather has seen temperatures drop as low as -7C (19F) in the city.

Toni Soni, the council's head of hostels, said: "We have had support from the YMCA, Leicester Quaker Housing Association and Action Homeless to make these extra beds available, as well as The Bridge 'homeless to hope' faith group who will be providing volunteers to assist with managing the beds.

"Our homeless outreach team is out on the streets making contact with rough sleepers with the aim of bringing them in out of the cold. This initiative offers a lifeline, because as the temperature drops there is a real danger that people will lose their lives if they sleep in the open."

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