"I'd have preferred to go back to prison than sleep on the streets.
St Petrocs Winter Services meant I didn't have to make that choice and now I'm living in St Petrocs accommodation near my family." Harry

St Petrocs’ Winter Services provide emergency accommodation through the winter to anyone sleeping rough during the colder months, when sleeping outside can be very dangerous. This year the service ran every night from the beginning of December to the end of February.

Fundamentally, we believe no one should have to sleep outside. Prolonged rough sleeping also has a significant impact on a person's mental and physical health, as well as their safety. There are clear links between sleeping outside in the cold and poor health; cold temperatures can be fatal. Sleeping outside is also thought to decrease life expectancy.

This service works to rapidly rehouse people, to make their experience of homelessness as short as possible. This winter, 90% of all people that used our Winter Services were supported into longer term accommodation. 40% of these people moved into a St Petrocs' house, where they are supported to move on into independent accommodation when ready.

Our Winter Services provide people experiencing homelessness with a route into more permanent accommodation during the winter months. Operated as a dispersed service, where people are accommodated across the county in hotels and guesthouses, the Winter Service aims to allow people to stay in their local areas where they can still rely on their community and support networks. We’re pleased to be able to accommodate people in places that suit them the most, so that they are more likely to use our services whilst providing the dignity, respect and tailored support that every individual deserves.

As an independent charity, our services are not commissioned. Many of the people we work with are ineligible for, or struggle to access support from, statutory services, making the service a lifesaving and life changing option for those who would otherwise have nowhere else to go.

A final word from Henry, our Chief Executive: "It is testimony to the hard work, dedication and commitment of my colleagues that we have been able to deliver such a successful winter service this year. The results speak for themselves.

As well as celebrating the achievements of the winter service, it is important that we acknowledge the crucial and sometimes lifesaving work of our outreach team and the resource centres who continued to support clients who, for whatever reason, were not able to be accommodated even on an emergency basis over the winter months. In addition to the 50 people we accommodated on an emergency basis, in the period that the winter services were running, we supported 339 other people via our non-residential services, approximately 50% of whom were rough sleeping.

The number of people currently experiencing homelessness in Cornwall is staggering. Collectively we need to act to address this failure of society.

May I offer a sincere thank you to everybody who generously supported our winter appeal which made the winter services possible. Thank you for being part of the solution and joining us in our ambition to end homelessness in Cornwall."


Read the full impact report      Read about Josh's experience in our Winter Services