In response to increasing levels of homelessness in the city, St Petrock’s and partners from the Soup Kitchen Network are putting together plans to run a night shelter throughout the winter months. As part of Exeter City Council’s existing Severe Weather Emergency Provision (SWEP), St Petrock’s Centre, Gabriel House and other local charities currently open up overnight to provide emergency accommodation for rough sleepers when the tempera-ture falls to zero degrees or below.
The proposed night shelter would extend this service to provide continuous bed spaces for risk-assessed rough sleepers for three months of the year. Experience has shown that cold weather accommodation can not only help save lives, but prove a vital first step in encouraging entrenched rough sleepers to make the move ‘indoors’.
Under the proposal, the night shelter would be run as a collaborative venture by trained volunteers, with a central coordinator employed on a part-time basis to oversee the work. Development of the project is subject to the availability of funding and an additional overnight venue or venues to operate alongside St Petrock’s Centre.
For further information, please contact Mel Hartley at St Petrock’s on: 01392 422396
To me this seems a much better response than SWEP to the crisis faced by the street homeless during the winter months – and a better management of resources and personnel. I hope the various partner organisations can pull it off.