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Church night shelters provide up to 20 extra beds

This winter HARP once again teamed up with local churches and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council to provide extended night shelters to Southend’s homeless people. This extended provision will continue to run until the end of March.

We are proud of this partnership that has now been running for six years.

This year, seven churches have taken part, providing up to 20 extra beds on top of the 18 night shelter rooms available at our night shelter all year round. The extension was set up in response to the growing number of rough sleepers who found themselves with nowhere to go in the bitter winter months.

Many local homeless people have been provided with a warm and safe place to sleep through this service. Guests at the night shelters have been encouraged by our team members to work on any issues that might have led to them becoming homeless; creating and working through personal action plans towards achievable goals.

Shelter volunteer, Jan, said: “I began volunteering at the shelters in 2015 and enjoyed it, so I am back at two of

the churches this year, and I have also started volunteering at HARP’s Bradbury Day Centre.

“I have found the experience of the night shelters to be incredibly rewarding and the volunteers are a nice bunch. It has been a great opportunity to learn more about homelessness; the people that stay at the shelter come in all shapes and sizes, but they are polite and appreciative of what we do. It is fantastic to see how successful these shelters can be in supporting these people as they take steps towards improving their lives.”

We would like to thank everyone involved in the successful running of this year’s church winter night shelter scheme.

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