Media release | For immediate release
Exeter Night Shelter providing refuge from the cold
Exeter’s night shelter has been declared a success just weeks after opening its doors to rough sleepers.
In three weeks, more than 300 bed spaces have been filled by the Safe Sleep initiative, with on average 20 rough sleepers a night taking advantage of the facilities.
Homelessness provider Julian House is running the 40-bed facility in Market Street in conjunction with the City Council. The service operates between 8:30pm and 8:00am each night offering safe secure accommodation for people who would otherwise be sleeping on the streets of Exeter. The service is staffed overnight, with a minimum of two staff on at all times, and will be open until the start of March.
Cllr Emma Morse, Lead Councillor of Customer Access, said it was extremely heartening to see the night shelter being so well received, especially during the recent cold spell.
“The number of people using the shelter has grown from nine on the first night to 28 at the end of December, as word has spread and rough sleepers have become aware of its existence,” she said.
Just shortly before the shelter opened on 21 December, it was estimated that around 40 people were sleeping rough on Exeter’s streets.
“You can’t persuade everyone to come inside but with a night shelter offering 40 bed spaces, there is no need for anyone to be sleeping out in these conditions,” said Cllr Morse.
“Of course we understand that many of those sleeping rough have complex issues and that is the challenge we share with our partners, to address these issues and find them a more permanent roof over their head.
“Safe Sleep is a great opportunity to help people out during the cold winter months but we realise that it is not the solution. The City Council is committed to reducing homelessness and we are constantly looking at opportunities to bring on line additional accommodation and support.
“We are working with Private Landlords and other providers to lease houses and form a shared house network across the city.”
Any private landlord who would be interested in working with the Council to reduce homelessness in the city should contact 01392 265685.