Shelter offers rough sleepers a warm bed

Inn Churches project at The Gathering Place, St James Road, Halifax. From the left, founder David Fawcett, Inn Churches co-ordinator Jeff Heaton, volunteers Conrad Andrews, Joseph Sutcliffe and Keith Meadows, and guests Alan Horsley and John Senior.
Inn Churches project at The Gathering Place, St James Road, Halifax. From the left, founder David Fawcett, Inn Churches co-ordinator Jeff Heaton, volunteers Conrad Andrews, Joseph Sutcliffe and Keith Meadows, and guests Alan Horsley and John Senior.

A Halifax night shelter is providing a warm bed and the chance to live a better life to people sleeping rough on the streets of Calderdale.

Inn Churches, based at The Gathering Place, St James Road, will offer a safe haven for vulnerable men and women during some of the coldest months of the year.

The shelter is open from 6.30pm, now until March 29, and offers guests the chance to shower, eat, socialise and sleep in a warm bed.

Project co-ordinator Dave Fawcett says the centre aims to permanently house those of no fixed abode.

Last year, 29/39 shelter guests secured long-term housing through the charity.

Dave said: “The fantastic work couldn’t be achieved without the incredible support from volunteers. It’s amazing how many guests, previously sleeping rough, are now volunteering at the shelter - they’re best placed to help and understand guests.”

Zac Parker, 23, of Halifax, now has a place to call home, thanks to Inn Churches - where he now volunteers.

He said: “I stayed at the shelter from January 2014 until it finished after sleeping rough on the streets of Halifax - I had nowhere else to go. It was tough and so cold.”

Zac now volunteers in the kitchen at the shelter.

“If it wasn’t for Inn Churches I’d still be on the streets now - I want to give something back now,” he said.

The shelter averages between 8-10 guests per evening.

Thomas Holmes, 28, and Ian, 52, were 2015 guests to the centre and now both have a place of their own and say they couldn’t turn their lives around without the support of one another.

“We’re like one big family here,” said Thomas who now hopes to secure a job and a happy future.

Ian said: “If someone told me this would have happened a few months ago, I would never have believed them - its’ restored my faith in people.”