Sadly due to the ongoing pandemic, we are unable to run the Winter Night Shelter this year as in previous years (described below). Instead we are supporting the council’s own projects and other local initiatives related to housing needs, such as offering starter packs to those being offered housing having been in temporary accommodation. Thank you to all who have supported us and who had offered to be involved this coming season (2020/21). Updates on next year will be posted here when the situation becomes clearer.
As we start the last month of this year’s Winter Night Shelter, it is encouraging to hear of guests finding solutions to their accommodation needs, for example see the latest post in our Prayer Points (Tuesday 3rd March).
The Winter Night shelter for 2020 is now in Week 8 of 12, with a number of guests joining us, as referred by Broxbourne Council. Some guests have stayed for just a few nights, some have been with us for a few weeks.
We have over 200 volunteers who help in different ways, – transporting beds, setting up the room, making the beds, preparing and serving the food, welcoming the guests, talking to them and playing games with them, staying with them overnight, washing the laundry. All very important roles, which are much appreciated by the guests. Many thanks to all our helpers!
Support is given by the volunteers and by Broxbourne Council to try and help the guests forwards onto firmer footing after the night shelter finishes.
We are also working towards accreditation with Housing Justice as a night shelter, to demonstrate that we are working well and appropriately.
Having completed the 2019 pilot, the feedback from guests, volunteers and the council was that the project was both worthwhile and successful, and so we gearing up to run again, this time from January-March 2020! Watch this space for more news as the project develops…
It was good to be able to welcome our local MP, Charles Walker, to our session of the Winter Night Shelter this week. Charles joined in conversation over card games with our guests, seeking to find out more about the project. Demonstrating genuine concern for those caught up in this plight he explored with us the causes of homelessness in our Borough and, before leaving, invited us to meet with him at the end of the pilot to discuss our experiences and the way forward.
The Hertfordshire Mercury has published an article about the launch of our Winter Night Shelter (WNS), which can be read here.