Lichfield Emergency Night Shelter – For the second winter, Lichfield District Council asked Churches Together to run an emergency night shelter for rough sleepers. We were able to expand our operation to 7 church venues with the fantastic support of 150 community volunteers and provided good work opportunities for 6 people.

The underpinning ethos for the shelter has been based on Gods Love.

Whilst, the average numbers of guests was down on last year (a good thing), we were able to directly support 5 guests out from the rut of rough sleeping – this included one of the entrenched rough sleepers.

It is fair to say, a number of entrenched rough sleepers did not want to use the shelter as they perceived it impinged on their lifestyles. Their lives continue to be blighted by addiction and the need to fund that addiction made begging the only real option for funds.

We worked closely with Spring Housing to help individuals move on, but with the most entrenched, this was not successful.

When lockdown was announced, we realised we could not guarantee the safety of guests, staff and volunteers and we had to take to difficult decision to close the shelter 10 days earlier than planned. However, additional funding from the council ensured temporary accommodation was immediately available for all rough sleepers. As lockdown has been slowly lifted it is sad to see a number of the rough sleepers have returned back into the city to beg.

The shelter was a success – we helped people off the streets, engendered a good degree of community spirit and put practical Christian faith into action. The celebration has been put on hold!



Page last updated: 28th May 2020 7:08 PM