Our winter shelter provides 12 beds a night for 17 weeks in the coldest months of the year (December to March), in a different partner church each week. Unlike many hostels, we are able to offer beds to people with ‘no recourse to public funds’ – for instance failed asylum seekers, people who’ve been trafficked, or partners of those with residency rights whose relationships have broken down – as well as those who have recourse to public funds but are not a priority case.
Churches provide guests with a hot meal each night, a warm bed, and breakfast in the morning. But they also get support: from simple conversations with people who listen, to emotional support. And on top of that, we work with each guest to try and find them longer-term accommodation (work which continues throughout the year through our Welfare Management service).
Guests are referred by agencies around Bradford, and are from a wide range of backgrounds, including UK-born, asylum seekers, refugees and EU nationals.
It takes around 12 volunteers each night to run this provision, and we have around 850 volunteers in total from 70 different churches. If you would be interested in volunteering next winter, or your church would be interested in hosting, please do get in touch.