The Thanet Winter Shelter desperately needs more volunteers, particularly for overnight sessions, for it to be able to continue to run services until the end of March.
The scheme, which is in its third year, provides at least 20 beds every night at churches across the isle. Some venues have additional, emergency spaces.
The shelter involves church halls opening their doors to those sleeping on the street to offer a bed, clothes and food. A key aim of the Shelter is to better equip guests to help them secure and retain longer-term accommodation and to provide practical pathways for training and employment.
But Shelter manager Alexander Roarke says it is a struggle at times to keep the scheme running and more help is needed.
He said: “We have two shifts that we are struggling to get volunteers for. One of those shifts if we don’t start getting some volunteers, I’m not sure how we are going to keep the Shelter open.”
Particularly needed are sleep/wake volunteers to give up one night a week, or even just as a one-off. They would sleep at the shelter and would only need to be woken if there was an issue that the supervisor would deal with while the volunteer would sit with other guests.
During the last week the Shelter has seen three of its guests rehoused. It is working with the Thanet Iceberg Project,which helps people find accommodation and helps with the basic needs of moving in. For January the shelter has provided 587 bed spaces.
There are 368 volunteers registered but not all are active. If that number of people covered two shifts each the shelter would reach the March 31 closing date with all shifts covered and six spare.
The Thanet Iceberg project has also launched a fundraiser which will help newly rehoused people with everything from agency fees to a first food shop, electric and gas top ups or even storage.
Find Thanet Winter Shelter on facebook here
Get in touch with Shelter manager Alexander Roarke on firstname.lastname@example.org