Homeless shelter to remain open

By a County Press reporter

Monday, January 21, 2013

 

HOMELESS people can continue to stay at a night shelter during the icy spell after church volunteers offered to keep it open during the week.

The shelter is run on behalf of the Isle of Wight Council at Downside Community Centre, Newport, by volunteers from the Church of Victorious Life.

It was scheduled to be open at the weekend during the cold weather but the volunteers have agreed to undertake extra shifts in order to ensure it is available during the continuing cold conditions.

Besides a warm and secure place to sleep, facilities available at the shelter include food, hot drinks, shelter and bedding, use of washing facilities and the ability to wash and dry clothes.

Anyone who is homeless can access this free service. At the weekend, two rough sleepers took advantage of the shelter’s facilities.

Cllr Stuart Hutchinson, the Isle of Wight Council cabinet member for adult social care and housing, said: "As it is run by volunteers, the shelter’s opening hours are usually limited to the weekends during the inclement weather. However, we are delighted the church has been able to provide additional support during the continuing cold weather.

"Last week, the volunteers also agreed to provide cover during the worst of the weather. We are extremely grateful to them for providing this service to some of the most vulnerable people on the Island."

The Downside Community Centre has also been the base for volunteers from Pan Together, who have been distributing hot soup to vulnerable residents in the community.

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