Salvation Army scales up emergency shelter provision for rough sleepers ahead of Storm Ciara

The Salvation Army runs homeless shelters across the UK(Photo: Facebook/The Salvation Army UK)

The Salvation Army is getting ready for Storm Ciara by setting up 'pop-up' shelters for rough sleepers across the UK.

The Met Office has issued a "danger to life" severe weather warning ahead of the arrival of the third named storm of the season on Monday. 

Storm Ciara is tipped to be the strongest storm to hit the British Isles since 2013, bringing winds of 50mph to 60mph. 

The Salvation Army is part of a network that operates emergency shelters providing a safe and warm place for the homeless to spend the night during severe weather. 

These are in addition to its existing 25 churches running night shelters for the homeless whatever the weather.

The Salvation Army's Assistant Director for Homelessness, Malcolm Page, said: "Our 'pop-up' shelters offer an extra layer of protection to rough sleepers – a safe warm space to shelter can be the difference between life and death at this time of year.

"On the streets they are extremely vulnerable and risk death due to exposure to harsh weather conditions."

He continued: "The Met Office is warning people to stay inside and to not shelter or walk close to buildings and trees. When you are without a home, this is impossible.

"Finding a safe shelter can be tough whatever the weather but even more so when extreme weather hits. The Salvation Army stands ready to offer protection in the storm."

The Salvation Army relies on volunteers to run its homeless night shelters.  It has been calling on the Government to increase the provision of supported housing in the face of rising numbers of homeless people across the UK. 

Mr Page added: "While we are braced to offer emergency support in addition to our network of temporary night shelters, we know that rough sleeping has increased by 165 per cent since 2010 and a temporary shelter alone cannot tackle homelessness in our towns and cities."

He added: "We are urging the Government to recognise that increased support such as this is needed to reverse the climbing numbers of rough sleepers."