Bristol Churches Winter Night Shelter Proposal
At this week’s City Office meeting the Church Based Winter Shelter pilot project will be offered to the city via the Mayor and representatives from a wide range of sectors (education, business, health, community etc.). It will come as part of a presentation being delivered that will put forward proposals for short-term and long-term solutions to Bristol’s homelessness challenges. The overall ‘pitch’ will seek the committed engagement of those present and the organisations they represent in pursuing the proposals.
Below are two documents showing the proposal and progress made to-date in pulling a viable pilot together. In summary:
· 5 churches have pledged the use of their building to host a shelter.
· A range of churches have committed to either provide a team of volunteers or encourage their members to participate in this project.
· Over 40% of the required budget for the pilot has been pledged.
· Amongst the above, 5 denominational groups are represented.
This is amazing, especially considering the short timescale that was given for a response! Thank you!
Some of you have plans to discuss your participation in upcoming meetings; we look forward to hearing from you in due course.
At this stage we do not have a fully resourced project so it is not too late to consider and pledge the involvement of your church. During early October we will be assessing the pledges received and will put together some more specific requests.
Last autumn/winter, Bristol had the 2nd highest number of rough sleepers in the UK. Whilst the number of shelter beds available has increased over this year I suspect that this autumn’s street count will, sadly, see Bristol in a similar position to last year.
Figures from Housing Justice report that more than 70 local authorities across the UK benefit from church based winter night shelters! Data from just half of those shelter programmes shows that 39% of shelter guests successfully moved into ongoing accommodation, employment and support.
It strikes me that the church in Bristol has a significant opportunity to make a positive impact, not simply on statistics but on people’s lives.
Please continue to pray.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Jonathan Lee Chief Executive
Crisis Centre Ministries
, Church Based Winter Shelter
, Crisis Centre Ministries
, Rough Sleeping
, Rough Sleeping Partnership Group