Huge community support pledged to Halifax night shelter - but more volunteers are needed

Inn Churches 2014 homeless shelter at Halifax Salvation Army. Pictured are project co-ordinator Dave Fawcett and volunteer Steve Windsor

Inn Churches 2014 homeless shelter at Halifax Salvation Army. Pictured are project co-ordinator Dave Fawcett and volunteer Steve Windsor

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An impressive amount of men and women attended an evening to find out more about volunteering in next year’s Halifax night shelter project.

But more volunteers are needed to achieve the same levels of success as last year’s Inn Churches Street Sleepers Project.

More than 40 men and women signed up to give their time to the project which will run from January - March 2015 at various town centre locations.

An audience at Halifax’s Ebenezer Church listened to a talk from a man who attended one of last year’s night shelters. He told volunteers what a difference the project had made to his life after finding himself sleeping rough on the streets of Calderdale. The man is now living in a home, working and, he told guests, ‘he now feels he is a worthwhile member of society again’.

Last year, the project secured permanent accommodation for 75 per cent of those who slept at the various Halifax shelters.

Christians Together trustee Dave Fawcett, said: “Out of 39 people who stayed with us 29 were found permanent accommodation. That is a truly amazing result. We hope to achieve the same and more in the next project.”

The night shelters provide emergency accommodation in the form of an evening meal, someone to talk to, a bed for the night and a breakfast in the morning to anyone sleeping on the streets.

Last winter, 126 volunteers, from all walks of life, manned the project and ensured its success in supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

Jeff Heaton, project co-ordinator for Christians Together, said: “The work of the volunteers was vital to the success of the project. Without them it would not have happened and lives like those of the guest above would have been changed. Last year it was great to see a community of people from different backgrounds and nationalities all working together for the good of others.

“Whilst the project is organized by Christians Together Calderdale a majority of our volunteers had no link with any church or religious affiliation – they just wanted to help other people. It is quite humbling and does restore your faith in humanity.”

A second volunteer information and training night is being held at Ebenezer Church (across from the Job Centre) on Tuesday December 9 at 7:30 p.m. If you feel you can help in any way why not come along and find out more.