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Shelter to open for people sleeping rough this winter

HARP is gearing up to ensure that local people in Southend who are currently sleeping rough don’t have to be out in the cold this winter.

An emergency cold weather shelter will be open and run by HARP from the start of December until around the end of February. HARP is working in partnership with the council on this initiative. The winter shelter will be managed by HARP staff and volunteers and will open from 7pm every evening and close at 8.30am with people using the shelter then being encouraged to visit HARP’s Bradbury Centre during the day for breakfasts, hot showers and to access other services as normal.

Why is this happening? We know from demand last year that this service is going to be critical over the colder months. We have worked quickly with the council to make sure we can meet the rising need to offer this service during the winter months when it is really tough for anyone sleeping outside. As well as providing people with a bed each night our staff and volunteer teams will be working with the people that come to the shelter to help them overcome the reasons for homelessness. This might involve helping them into a HARP property or looking for permanent accommodation; or working with other organisations to ensure they are accessing all the services that are on offer including health services.

HARP will also ensure that everyone who comes to the shelter has a Christmas dinner, gift and some festive cheer during the Christmas season.

Who can come to the shelter? If you are currently sleeping rough in Southend and are verified by the outreach team you will be able to access the shelter. If you are not currently a verified rough sleeper by the Southend outreach team but are struggling without housing please approach your local council for advice and support. People will not be able to come to the shelter on their own accord but be supported to the shelter by our Street Outreach Team. This is to protect the safety of the people we are working with and ensure we can meet demand.

If you see somebody sleeping rough please report this at

How can our community help us?

Donate money to support our work - HARP still need financial support to provide ongoing support and presents for people visiting the shelter. To contribute to our Christmas appeal click here.

Volunteer – We need volunteers to help us man the shelter and work alongside our staff. Click here to find out more.

Donate items – We need pillows, duvets, single sheets, blankets, clothes, gifts for people using the shelter at Christmas. Please take these items to the Bradbury Centre in York Road.

Thank you for your support.


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