A WINTER night shelter in Oxford is now open to anyone who is experiencing rough sleeping.

At full capacity the shelter in Simon House, Paradise Street, will provide winter-long accommodation for up to 13 people – whether or not they have a local connection.

The winter shelter is part of the council’s new approach to tackling rough sleeping and homelessness.

This transformation began last month with the opening of a Somewhere Safe to Stay service for newly homeless people and those at risk of sleeping rough.

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The winter shelter is operating on an interim basis in Simon House while the council completes the conversion of 1 Floyds Row off St Aldate's into a new engagement and assessment centre and shelter for up to 56 people.

Oxford Mail:

The winter-long shelter and Somewhere Safe to Stay will transfer to Floyds Row when the first phase of the conversion is completed in January. St Mungo’s is running both services for the council.

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Cabinet member for housing Linda Smith said: “Providing accommodation all winter will make it easier for us to help people off the streets for good.

"It will provide the certainty that they have a bed for the night, every night.

"While we expect that we will still need to activate emergency beds during freezing weather, the winter shelter is an important part of our plans to transform homelessness services in Oxford.”