Accomodation for the homeless has been opened over Christmas to help those sleeping rough on the streets.

The Severe Weather Emergency Protocol shelter opened on Christmas Eve and will remain open until tomorrow, December 28. The shelter will also open from New Year's Eve until Monday, January 2.

Brighton and Hove City Council have also opened their No Second Night Out accomodation in a bid to provide rough sleepers with routes off the streets.

Brighton and Hove City Councillor David Gibson, co-chair of the Housing Committee, said: “We’re opening SWEP to provide warm, safe accommodation and making sure food and drink is available there for anyone who needs it.

“With soaring rents and increased evictions, the homeless pressures are great amid the cost of living crisis. It does feel like we are pushing a boulder uphill so I’d like to thank officers, partners and the many volunteers for the hard work and excellent support they provide - and for their dedication in making sure support is available to people who need it this Christmas.

“Our priority continues to be to help everyone sleeping on the streets into safe, secure accommodation."

The SWEP shelter is opened at different points throughout the winter such as when there is an amber weather warning or temperatures are forecast to feel like zero degrees celsius.

The shelter can be accessed by referrals from the street outreach team who go out looking for rough sleepers when the protocol is active.

During the recent cold weather, the SWEP shelter housed nearly 50 rough sleepers.

Alongside homelessness charity St Mungo's, the council have also re-opened the No Second Night Out shelter which helps to provide support to help people away from the streets.

Cllr Gibson added: “It’s also great news to see the ‘No Second Night Out’ has reopened in time for Christmas.

“It all adds up to a wide-ranging package of accommodation and support in the city to help people move away from the streets. They also give us an opportunity to work closely with people and offer them support to end their homelessness."

Anyone concerned about someone sleeping rough can report throuhg the Steetlink website.