Churches around Southampton are making plans to open their buildings to people sleeping rough this winter. It follows a city-wide partnership commitment to end the need for rough sleeping in the city.
The Street Support Network partnership believes that:
“No-one deserves to live a life on the streets. We believe they deserve better.”
Paul Woodman from City Life Church, explained:
“We are working hard to help churches open across the city on rotation – a different church each night over the worst of the winter. It’s not as easy as it sounds – our insurers have to be satisfied that people sleeping overnight are safe and that our buildings are ready to use for the many activities that are run during the day for pre-schools and playgroups. We plan to run a pilot this year and open our doors to people referred to us.”
Speaking from one city centre church, Paul Webber said:
“We see people sleeping rough every day as we come into our church building. Following the example of Jesus, who was a friend to people who were marginalised, we desire to find a way to make sure no-one needs to sleep in a shop-front or car park this winter.”
The churches winter shelter will form part of a wider provision to increase the number of beds to reduce rough sleeping in the city. Last year, over 30 organisations signed a Southampton Rough Sleeping and Begging Charter, which shares our vision for “Southampton to be a city where no one needs to sleep rough or beg”.
To help us achieve this vision, the Street Support Network partnership is inviting others to join with them in tackling the problem.
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