Southend Churches Winter Night Shelters: 2013 – 14
For the third winter in a row, Church groups and a homeless charity are joining forces with the Council to help rough sleepers in search of a roof over their heads during the winter months.
Over the 2011/12 winter, 3 churches were open for 44 nights and helped about 90 guests by providing an evening meal, a warm bed, and breakfast.
Last winter, seven churches were involved and covered one night a week each from November to February (120 nights) helping 155 guests.
This winter the same 7 churches are again involved; it is notable that they are from seven different denominations and are situated across the borough from the Westcliff/Leigh border to Shoeburyness.
The Shelters open on Monday 18th November and will be running right through to the end of March (134 nights). Unfortunately, it is expected that the demand will be at least the same as last winter.
The Council is providing some practical help (e.g. bedding and training) and are also supporting the role of a Co-ordinator.
People wanting to sleep at one of the churches will need to register at the Homeless Action Resource Project (HARP) Day Centre in Valkyrie Road, Westcliff-on-Sea (Monday – Friday only). Please note that this is the only referral channel: no referral = no admittance.
Neal McCardle (manager of the HARP Day Centre) and Phill Warren (the Council’s Housing Needs Manager) are very grateful for the church’s help and agree that the initiative will drastically reduce the chance of people dying on the streets during the cold weather that is certain during the next few months.
For more information, please contact John Simmons (the Co-Ordinator)