St Petrocs, the independent Cornish charity dedicated to ending homelessness, is gearing up for one of its busiest winters. It has opened its Winter Services emergency accommodation to support those facing homelessness in Cornwall. This comes as Cornwall experiences its first cold snap of the winter leading to the activation of SWEP (Severe Weather Emergency Protocol) across the county.
Figures for 2023 so far indicate a significant increase in people using St Petrocs’ services compared to the previous year. The homelessness crisis in Cornwall is worsening, with 1,271 people supported in 2022, over 100 more than in 2021. Last month alone, St Petrocs worked with over 330 people across all its services.
St Petrocs provides emergency shelter through the provision of self-contained rooms dispersed throughout the county during the winter for those otherwise facing a night sleeping outside. The emergency accommodation not only offers dignity, safety, warmth and a good night’s sleep but also serves as a crucial starting point for the organisation to work intensively with individuals to find suitable sustainable long-term housing solutions. Last winter, 90% of those who accessed their Winter Services were successfully supported into longer-term accommodation, with 40% moving into a St Petrocs house.
Recognising the unique challenges faced by women experiencing homelessness, St Petrocs has introduced a new addition to its services this year — a women-only space tailored to address specific challenges faced by women in crisis situations.
Last year St Petrocs worked with 50 people who through their Winter Services emergency shelter. This year the organisation acknowledges the increased demand and is committed to supporting as many people as possible.
The charity is thankful for funds received from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities through the Night Shelter Transformation Fund, which enable the operation of their Winter Services. In addition to this, a significant portion of their work is funded by generous donations from the public during the Winter Appeal.
St Petrocs’ Winter Appeal, running from 1st December to 29th February, is the charity’s largest fundraiser of the year. These crucial funds sustain essential services not only through the winter but also throughout the entire year. Individuals looking to support the appeal can visit the organisation’s website.