Swansea Hope Niqht Shelter
The Swansea Hope Night Shelter for the Homeless closed at the end of last month.
The Shelter helped to take over thirty rough sleepers off the streets of Swansea. The majority of them were also helped to find accommodation of their own.
The Night Shelter has been running for seven years now and works in partnership with the City Council, police, local agencies and homeless charities. The idea is a simple and effective one. Seven Churches across the city open up their buildings for one night a week and a huge team of volunteers help to provide a warm welcome, a hot meal and breakfast, a comfortable bed and a safe place to spend the night.
The Shelter opened on Tuesday evenings in All Saints' Churchrooms and was run by three teams working in shifts. There was the 6pm-10pm evening shift, when we shared a hearty home cooked meal. This was followed by the overnight shift from 10pm to 6am. The last shift covered breakfast from 6am to 830pm.
A third of our volunteers were from All Saints' and Norton. Once again we were joined by helpers from Llansamlet, Sketty, Llwynderw and Newton parishes and from Our Lady Star of the Sea Church. Some of our volunteers doubled up to help run the Monday Shelter at St Stephen's, Port Tennant, which was again co-ordinated by Sonia Jones.
We thank all those who volunteered to help again this year. This important ministry of outreach to those on the margins of our society makes such a difference. The local homeless nurse, who has visited us most weeks, spoke of how a friendly smile, a welcome and the sharing in a meal really does help to turn people's lives around.
We also thank all those who have supported the shelter financially, especially at Christmas. We raised in excess of £1,200 which more than offset the cost of food, heating and lighting. Your generosity has also meant that we have enough money to fund the necessary fire safety improvements to the hall [which we need to do to comply with the regulations].
A full report of this year's Tuesday Shelter, with information about the number of people we have helped and who volunteered will be printed in this year's Annual Parish Report.
Special thanks to our Parish Co-ordinator, April Beynon, for overseeing the Shelter on Tuesday evenings and for filling in the gaps when volunteers have not been able to come. We also thank Russell Morris for assisting April in this role and for taking in the bags of bedding and clothes every Tuesday morning.
Swansea Hope Tuesday Night Shelter Volunteers are invited to a Social Evening
at 7pm on Wednesday 27th
March in the Churchrooms
Shepherd's pie might well be on the menu! You are welcome to bring your own bottle of wine [squash will be provided
The meal is free - with a retiring collection to offset costs
Please let April know if you are able to join us
Swansea Hope Night Shelter
The Tuesday evening Night Shelter at All Saints' opened its doors on January 8th.
We are very grateful to our team of volunteers who have signed up, completed the training and who will join the weekly rota from January to the end of March. For some of us, this will be the fifth year we will have volunteered for this challenging but rewarding work.
The Night Shelter Is part of the 'Swansea Hope' initiative and involves several Churches across the city. The idea is a simple one. Rough sleepers are encouraged to come off the streets of Swansea by council and homeless agencies. They are brought to a different Church building each night, where they are given a warm welcome, a hearty meal, a comfortable bed for the night and breakfast in the morning. Many of them open up to our volunteers and share their life stories. A number of our guests have battled with alcohol and drug addiction through the years. Others have been made homeless because they lost their jobs or had a cut in their benefits and failed to make their mortgage or rent payments. Many of them have suffered family breakdown or have had no one to turn to for help.
Since its launch, Swansea Hope has taken up to sixty rough sleepers off the streets each year. Many of them have gone on to rebuild their lives and to find permanent accommodation. It's vitally important work and is really making a difference to the problem of homelessness in the city.
Please remember our volunteers in your prayers and the volunteers at the six other shelters across the city - at Christwell [Manselton], St Stephen's [Port Tennant], Lifepoint Church [Uplands], Sketty Uniting Church, Parklands Church [Sketty] & Linden Church [West Cross].