Homeless given a bed for the night in church

New project which will see churches opening at night with beds for homeless during winter, with Dave Fawcett, Elly Smith and Major Paul McNally.
New project which will see churches opening at night with beds for homeless during winter, with Dave Fawcett, Elly Smith and Major Paul McNally.
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HOMELESS people will be able to escape the cold by sleeping in churches from tomorrow.

A four-week-trial is starting, providing shelter in three Halifax churches on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

Dave Fawcett, chairman of the food drop-in run at Ebenezer Methodist Church in Halifax and co-ordinator of the Inn Churches scheme, said: “It’s exciting.

“We just want to make sure people know about it. All this week we are going round the different charities and projects, making sure people are aware.”

Bunk beds for 10 people will be moved around each of the churches – the Salvation Army in St James Road, Carlton United Reform Church in Carlton Terrace and King’s Church, Park Road.

There will be food, as well as games and washing facilities.

On Monday mornings, a member of Calderdale Council’s doorways team will arrive to explore options.

Calderdale Council and the police have been helping with the project, which has already proved a success in Bradford.

Mr Fawcett says the volunteers’ work getting the project ready to launch has already seen them helping find accommodation for three people.

“We’ve found one guy a bedsit who been sleeping on the streets for 12 months,” he said.

“There was another guy who was sleeping in the bus station and we’ve found him a home.” From working at the food drop-in, Mr Fawcett said he knows there are people sleeping rough in Calderdale, under bushes and in parks.

But the nearest homeless hostels are in Bradford or Leeds.

When the four-week trial ends, a review will take place to look at how it might work next winter.

Inn Churches are still looking for volunteers who can help with a range of roles, including cooking, transporting equipment between the churches, registration or specialist skills such as hairdressing or podiatry.

Anyone who can help should call Karen Arnold on 01422 354207 or email karenarnold@mailme.co.uk.