Bristol Churches Night Shelter
It kicked off for our volunteer team on Sunday 15th January. Back in November 2016 YWAM Bristol along with the Salvation Army became part of a pilot project for the homeless in Bristol called, The Night Shelter, a project that started with the Housing Justice Charity. How does it work? Well the pilot last for 4 weeks, seven churches take a night each and rotate through the 4 weeks. Each church has volunteers from their own church and more from other churches around Bristol, over 150 volunteers in total. The location we are helping at is the Salvation Army, the shelter can take up to 12 homeless people.
Our 1st night we had 2 men arrive, the severe weather of that weekend had an impact on the number of people referred to us. It was a good night, and by the 22nd January we had 12 referred and 9 arrived, on 29th 12 referred and 10 arrive. It is good to see growth each week, knowing that many people are on the street and that we can provide somewhere warm and dry for them.
The guests arrive between 7.30 - 8.30pm and then we have dinner, time to relax and then it’s time to sleep. Monday morning sees our guests join more homeless who already come to the Salvation Army building for cooked breakfast (they have been holding this breakfast club for 6 years) around at 7.30am.
Each night has been a place where our guests have felt welcome and safe.
Please pray our last night of the project will again be a place where our guests feel welcome and safe, and that our volunteers have a good time and interact well with our guests.
One of the aims of this project is for it to be a stepping stone, please pray this will be a stepping stone into permanent accommodation and work for these men.
Below are a few links to news reports on the project and the impact it has had for Bristol:
Bristol launches 'spectrum of activity' to tackle homelessness
Churches across Bristol are opening their doors at night to ease the city's homeless crisis.
BBC Points West
Evening news - just after 14 minutes 30