Wycombe Homeless Connection confirms Night Shelter plans
With the Covid-19 crisis still affecting us all in many different ways Wycombe Homeless Connection are now making plans for the coming months and in particular their Night Shelter. Below is an update they have published giving more information which together with this video from James Boultbee, CEO of the charity, illustrates the massive challenge they face.
“Wycombe Winter Night Shelter is a core part of Wycombe Homeless Connection’s work and has been for over a decade, indeed it is where it all started.
The shelter has changed the lives not only of our guests, but of our volunteers and staff team who give their time, energy, skills and care to provide a warm, welcoming place for people who are homeless in our community in the winter.
Support, from across our community makes this happen. Thank you.
When the coronavirus pandemic took hold, we made the difficult decision to close our 2020 night shelter in early March. We moved our night shelter guests into local single occupancy hotel rooms where they could self-isolate if needed, stood down our volunteers, and continued to support them.
We did that to make sure every guest, volunteer and member of staff would be kept safe from the virus.
The pandemic continues and so we have looked carefully at our plans, and reviewed and reflected on guidance from the government, health organisations, the homelessness sector and more.
It is clear that we cannot ensure the safety of our guests and volunteers by running our dormitory-style, night shelter this year.
And so, we have made the difficult decision to change the way we will be providing support to people who are homeless in our community this winter.
We know this will be hugely disappointing and it might seem early to be making this decision, but this is the time of year we would be working with churches to book venues, recruiting volunteers, planning training sessions and more.
Please let us assure you that Wycombe Homeless Connection is committed to providing safe, emergency winter accommodation while it is needed, and a range of tailored support to guests. This includes the emotional and practical support needed to bring their homelessness to an end.
So, our next shelter will not run in the same way as in previous years.
We still need your help
We are working right now on what the next night shelter will look like.
We are continuing to work with the local authority so that the unique support Wycombe Homeless Connection offers will be an integral part of the range of emergency winter support that is available locally, and that our team already play a significant role in providing.
We are facing an uncertain future in terms of demand for our services, possibly a deep recession which could increase the risk of homelessness to people across our community. Our ongoing work in homelessness prevention, homeless heath and helping people move to more permanent homes will continue and expand.
At the same time there is more reason than ever to be hopeful, with the uncertainty there is also potential for us to seize this moment to make a major impact for good on homelessness in our community.
We want to take this opportunity to thank you for everything you have done to support our guests and in turn Wycombe Homeless Connection. Your support is more needed than ever.”
To contact Wycombe Homeless Connection visit their website.
To find out more about our work with Wycombe Homeless Connection contact us.