New Exeter pods offer short term 'crash pad' for rough sleepers

Users can be referred through a homeless outreach service. Credit: Exeter Council

Four pods have been put in a Exeter car park as a short term "crash pad" for rough sleepers.

The pods have been installed in the Howell Road car park and offer a short-term solution for the city's rough sleepers.

They offer basic accommodation with a bed, toilet, solar-powered lighting and a USB charging port along with keyless entry.

Councillor Martin Pearce, lead for Communities and Homelessness Prevention, said individuals were referred to the pods by the Rough Sleeping Prevention Team managed by Julian House.

He said: "They are being used by individuals with no alternative accommodation option available at the time, but ideally with a pathway opening up.

"We would also consider clients who may be at risk of losing their placement within our services, perhaps where some time out may be helpful in the short term."

He added: "The flexibility of a pod can also mean that in an emergency we can offer a safe place for a situation that our out-of-hours provision could use as an alternative option."

This is not the first time that pods have been set up across the West Country to help tackle the homeless crisis with similar schemes in Bristol and Cornwall.

A Council spokesperson said: "The Pods are not homes but are intended to act as a short-term 'crash pad' measure and a stepping stone from the streets into accommodation."