Expansion of King’s Lynn churches Night Shelter initiative
After a successful pilot project, the King’s Lynn Winter Night Shelter, a partnership initiative of Churches Together in King’s Lynn, has announced a new venue, increased funding and longer opening hours from November 2018.
The King’s Lynn Winter Night Shelter launched as a pilot project in December 2017 as a partnership between King's Lynn Churches Together, the Purfleet Trust and Imagine Norfolk Together, in response to the rising levels of homelessness in the borough.
The pilot ran from 1 December 2017 to Easter Sunday 2018 opening two nights a week on Fridays and Saturdays supported by 43 volunteers. A cooked dinner and cooked breakfast were provided.
An Impact Report on the effectiveness of the pilot project has been published and in discussions with the Council it has been agreed that a 7 night a week shelter is needed from November 2018 through to March 2019. In order to fund all aspects of the project, King’s Lynn Winter Night Shelter needs £92,000 to pay staff, rent and utilities. They will also need to triple the number of volunteers from 40 to 120.
The Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk have committed £25,000 to the project and are seeking match funding for the night shelter. The Mayor of King's Lynn and West Norfolk has also made the Night Shelter one of his charities for the year.
The Night Shelter will be moving into the current premises of the Purfleet Trust when the charity vacates the building in the autumn. The landlord is pleased that the building will continue to be used to offer help and support to people experiencing homelessness.
Andrew Frere-Smith, Development Worker for Imagine Norfolk Together believes the expansion will be a real step forward in addressing the needs of rough sleepers next winter. He said: “We would love to see homeless people, and especially the rough sleepers, being more effectively cared for. We are really grateful to the Borough Council for their support and the Purfleet Trust. It is our hope that soon King’s Lynn will be a town where no one has to sleep rough on the streets. I believe that with the support of the community we can make it happen.”
Rev Kevan Crane, Chair for King’s Lynn Winter Night Shelter, has expressed his encouragement by the support shown for the project. He said: “It has been so encouraging to receive such strong support from: local churches, the Borough Council and Mayor's charity, partner organisations and the community. Together we are able to meet such an important need in offering a safe shelter for the street homeless in our town.“
The King's Lynn Winter Night Shelter is currently advertising for an all year round, full time Night Shelter Coordinator, which you can find out more about here on the Network Norfolk site.
You can read the Impact Report here.