As temperatures plummet across the district, the Salvation Army and Thanet District Council have organised for the Thanet Winter Shelter to stay open a week longer than was originally planned to help vulnerable rough sleepers.
The Shelter, which was due to close tomorrow (February 28) will now be open until Monday 5 March.
Homeless Aspire will be engaging with the guests to link them into services and to help them with accommodation, training and employment.
Unique to Thanet’s Winter Shelter is working with Kent Mental Health practitioners to ensure guests are referred to the most appropriate primary care/charity sector services for their needs.
Thanet District Council put £20,000 into the shelter scheme which opened on December 1.
It is the second year of the scheme.
Carl Whitewood, Ramsgate Salvation Army Leader said: “The Winter Shelter is such an important space on many levels. It’s more than just a warm bed, we offer guests a place of safety and companionship.
“It would be impossible without the extraordinary support from all of the local churches and their members who have opened their doors, offered cooked meals and simply befriended guests. It also relies on the support of the many volunteers, coordinated by project manager Julie Nicholls, who have offered their talents and services.”
Cllr Fairbrass, Deputy Leader of Thanet District Council said: “With the arrival of freezing temperatures in the district, it’s more important than ever that we ensure the most vulnerable in our community are not sleeping rough.
“The fantastic team at Thanet’s Winter Shelter do everything possible to turn around the lives of some of our most entrenched rough sleepers and support them into long term accommodation, health care, skills and employment. I would urge anyone to contact us if they are concerned about someone sleeping rough over this period.”
Thanet’s Winter Shelter has involved partnership working between the Landlord Liaison Officers, Homeless Aspire, DWP, Porchlight and private. So far, the Shelter has seen seven people successfully housed, one referred to a rehabilitation centre, two accommodated under homeless legislation and three in supported housing with a further two guests lined up with accommodation. The team are currently busy working with an additional 11 guests to help support them.
For more information about the Shelter visit http://thanetwintershelter.org.uk.
If you need help and advice, go Thanet District Council’s Housing information pages.