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Hillingdon offers “immediate shelter” for vulnerable rough sleepers through their Winter Night Shelt

A winter night shelter has opened in Hayes for local rough sleepers, provided by the Trinity Homeless Project and Hillingdon Council.

Credit: Hillingdon Times

The Council has announced the opening of its Winter Shelter project for the 14th consecutive year, in aid of those locally sleeping rough.

Councillor Philip Corthorne, Cabinet Member of Social Services, Housing, Health and Wellbeing said: “This year the shelter will be open for six weeks in Hayes and allows rough sleepers to meet with our officer teams to settle into accommodation. It also provides immediate shelter by helping to meet peoples most immediate needs. However, beyond that, it’s the start of a journey towards a more settled life.

“When this project was first introduced, we actually went against government advice, due to our beliefs of how important the scheme is.

“The night shelter has been around for a number of years with an aim to help people throughout the coldest period of the year. It helps rough sleepers who do not have a bed for the night and gives people a safe space to stay.”

The shelter first opened its doors on January 20 and will remain open until March 2. This scheme will offer housing support, food and accommodation during the coldest months to both men and women this year.

The Trinity Homeless Project has impacted the lives of many rough sleepers in Uxbridge. Within the last year, three people were assisted back into employment and five people were helped to engage with their local drugs and alcohol service.

Last year, a total of 269 guests had been accommodated for through the Winter Night Shelter scheme and the average stay of a rough sleeper was 14 days, according to Trinity Homeless Project.

Cllr Corthorne discussed the importance of the scheme and the need for it to continue as he said: “It is something we have every intention of continuing as it will always be needed. We want to provide a settled route into accommodation, as well as providing the different services needed to help with mental health and drug addiction.

“Throughout this scheme I have met a number of people who do not conform to stereotypes of the regular homeless person, but rather they come from all different backgrounds, ones you wouldn’t even expect.”

As a result of previous years, this project has given a lot of support to the most vulnerable of people by introducing people to work, training and by helping to re-settle them into long-term accommodation.

In interviews conducted by Trinity Homeless Project for the Winter Night Shelter scheme, the overall feedback was positive. It concluded that 15 out of 34 people interviewed in total have been housed – 10 through Trinity and the remaining 5 through private landlords.

So far between 2019 and 2020, the Council has helped more than 30 rough sleepers into settled long-term accommodation, according to Hillingdon Council.

If you are aware of someone on the streets sleeping rough and would like to help, visit www.streetlink.ord.ukand give details of the person and their location.

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