Open Meeting Looks at Support for Homeless People in Hereford
A city centre church, which is home to the Hereford Winter Shelter, has called a public meeting to look at how better support can be provided for homeless people all year round.
Everyone is welcome at the meeting on Thursday 22nd March at 2pm, which is aimed at providing an opportunity for the many different grass roots initiatives and help groups, which have sprung up in the city, to get together and discuss how they can help further.
St Peter’s in St Peter’s Square provides emergency accommodation for people during the coldest months.
Rector of St Peter’s and St James, Revd Andy Morgan said: “This public meeting is an opportunity to talk about how we can all work together to help get people off the streets and into housing.
“Hereford badly needs better provision to help people make that step from sleeping rough to permanent accommodation.”
The shelter which has beds for 16 men and three women costs £40,000 a year to run between November and March.
Hereford County Council provides a grant of £5,000 each year with charitable donations meeting the rest of the £40,000 annual bill.
Revd Andy Morgan continued: “As someone new to Hereford, it has been wonderful to see many churches opening their doors and showing support to the homeless through the winter shelter and the hot food network, but we know more needs to be done.
“This winter has been particular tough for the homeless, but it seems to have captured the hearts of many in Hereford and we have been overwhelmed by the generosity and support shown.”
As well as a warm bed and a hot shower, the shelter, which is in its 9th year, also provides clothing, sleeping bags, food parcels, basic essentials and washing machines for people to use. Ongoing support is also on hand from housing officers and the Samaritans to help people make positive changes in their lives.
Community Link Officer at Hereford Diocese, Christine Pepler urged people to come along: “There are a lot of good folk around who care about those experiencing homelessness in our communities and doing various different activities to support and help them.
“It would be great to pull together all that goodwill and work together more cohesively to coordinate better addressing immediate need but also looking at what we can be doing to prevent and eliminate homelessness in our communities”
Hereford Diocese will be streaming the event via Facebook Live.
You can download photos of St Peter’s Winter shelter here