Homeless charity on hunt to buy new Night Shelter

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Emmanuel House Support Centre, a charity supporting homeless and vulnerable adults in Nottingham, is searching for a new venue for its Night Shelter, which temporarily closed it doors on June 30.

Working with a third party, the charity is looking to buy a large property containing 15-25 bedrooms within the Nottingham city boundary. Enquiries can be sent to rosie.needhamsmith@emmanuelhouse.org.uk, which will be forwarded to the third party.

On March 27 last year, the Government’s “Everyone In” initiative, part of its national response to the Covid-19 pandemic, instructed everyone who was sleeping rough or staying in a communal night shelter to transfer into single-room accommodation.

Emmanuel House’s Night Shelter, which provided emergency accommodation for anyone over the age of 18 who found themselves homeless, was forced to close. Between March 2020 and June 2021, it operated from a local hotel, working in partnership with Nottingham City Council and other agencies, which also referred people to the accommodation.

Between 27 March 2020 and 30 June 2021, Emmanuel House provided 14,325 nights’ protection at the hotel for a total of 334 people, who would otherwise have been rough sleeping. Emmanuel House supported 179 of these people into accommodation, an average of 2.73 people a week for 65.5 weeks. People moved into a variety of accommodation including private-rented properties, hostels, supported accommodation, or were reconnected with friends or family.

Denis Tully, CEO at Emmanuel House Support Centre, said: “The Night Shelter moving into a hotel was for emergency measures, but its provision has proved to be an outstanding success. It proves that single-room accommodation and wrap-around care is essential for helping people out of homelessness. It enabled us to provide consistent, 24-hour support for our guests, whilst meeting all their basic needs – they had their own washing facilities, access to three nutritious meals a day and access to continuous support.”

‘Shared air’ provision such as the Night Shelter remains unsafe in the current Covid-19 climate. Emmanuel House is currently working with a third-party provider to secure suitable accommodation and provide emergency accommodation services over the winter period.

Tully added: “The temporary closure of the Night Shelter does not mean the end of Emmanuel House’s vision for the all-round resettlement of homeless people. We want to take advantage of the new national opportunity to make an improved offer of accommodation and we are currently exploring a range of options that satisfy public health regulations for guests, volunteers and staff.”