A project which is seeing churches and community halls open their doors to operate as a temporary night shelter is underway in Wrexham.
Volunteers (pictured left) from churches and local groups are supporting the work of the Christian charity Housing Justice Cymru and the Diocese of St Asaph to provide hospitality to up to ten homeless people in the town.
The first shelter opened to four men and one women on Saturday 3 March and is set to operate for two nights every week throughout March. It’s hoped that the project will be expanded so the shelter opens every night throughout the coldest months next winter.
Wrexham has the second highest number of rough sleepers in Wales, with an estimated 45 people recorded on a single night in October. The figures released by the Welsh Government in February, show a national increase of 33% on a single night in October 2017 and a 10% increase in numbers over a two-week period during the same month.
The joint coordinator of the Night Shelter Project in Wrexham, and Housing Justice Cymru’s Homelessness Engagement Officer Stephen Convil said: “This project is the result of partnership working between a number of local organisations and volunteers who want to be part of the solution to homelessness in Wrexham. We pulled out all the stops to open the Night Shelter during one of the coldest weekends of the year and we will continue to operate two days a week throughout March.
“We’re looking for more churches and more volunteers to support the project, so we can support more people next winter.
“We know that rough sleeping is an issue in the town, and the Church and Community Night Shelter will add support to the great work that’s already being done in Wrexham.”
The Wrexham Night Shelter Project is looking for suitable church buildings across the town, so a different location will operate as the shelter each night. The Engagement Officer for the Diocese of St Asaph, Sarah Wheat, is the other coordinator of the Project. She added: “Our shelter can welcome up to ten homeless guests, referred to us by Wrexham Council, where they will feel safe, knowing they have a bed, a hot meal and support.“
Housing Justice Cymru is a Christian charity which works with churches to tackle homelessness and housing need. It helps churches and community groups set up and run Night Shelters and supports local churches to develop housing and homelessness projects.
The Diocese of St Asaph is part of the Church in Wales, an independent Province within the worldwide Anglican Communion of Churches. The diocese is a community of 228 churches covering Wrexham, as well as the counties of Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and parts of Gwynedd and Powys.
For further information about Wrexham’s Church and Community Night Shelter Project, please contact, Sharon Lee, Director, Housing Justice Cymru.