YEP Says: Welcome help for the homeless in Leeds, our freezing city

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should we give money to the homeless? Does it help them or simply encourage them to stay on the streets?

Seeing people sleeping rough gives the impression that the city doesn’t care.

Shelter is expecting a glut of festive calls from across the region.

Shelter is expecting a glut of festive calls from across the region.

Shouldn’t we rather be looking for a better answer? One which offers the homeless a chance to stay warm and healthy?

That may be a better solution but in the short term, it won’t do much good for people who are feeling the cold in shop doorways right now.

So Leeds City Council deserves praise for opening emergency shelters for homeless people as temperatures dropped to zero.

Leeds City Council said its cold weather protocol had come into operation last night due to forecasts of freezing weather.

It means additional beds are made available to people sleeping rough in the city and a stepping up of patrols by the council’s night outreach teams.

That is welcome. But what about the long term? Council teams say they work “week in, week out” to encourage rough sleepers to move into the emergency accommodation which it funds and also support them into long-term accommodation.

That is good. We need to help these poor unfortunate souls to get their lives back in order and with a proper home in which to sleep.