Homeless severe weather shelter in Northampton to stay open until Thursday
With temperatures overnight for the next three days set to dip below sub-zero the Hope Centre has continued to open its doors to the most vulnerable in Northampton.
Northampton’s winter shelter, run by Northampton Borough Council in partnership with the Hope Centre, Midland Heart Housing Association and NAASH, provides somewhere safe, warm and dry for rough sleepers to go during the coldest nights of the year.
The winter shelter, which has been operating from the Hope Centre in Oasis House since Thursday, January 17, will now stay open every night until Thursday, January 24, between 9pm and 7am, the Hope Centre has confirmed on Twitter.
It will be open to men and women who are sleeping rough in Northampton and have registered for the scheme.
More than 50 people responded to Northampton Borough Council’s appeal for volunteers to help its team leaders and support workers to run the winter shelter.
Organisers at another venue - who did not wish to seek publicity - say they will open for the homeless community on Thursday, January 24, so they can sit down and enjoy a hot meal.
This venue is to replace the former food hand-out on the Market Square ran by Stan Robertson of popular Facebook group Project 16:15 Homeless Breakfast Delivery.
Stan of Kingsley, who is a full-time carer for his son, has been serving-up 24 eggs, one kilo of bacon and 24 sausages to the most vulnerable who are sleeping in and around Abington Street at 6.30am every morning.
He started funding breakfasts to make others sleeping on the streets feel valued - but after word started to spread about his idea, he now receives donations through a fundraising page.
He said: "I've got this thing about dignity this year.
"I've got it into my head that it's way more dignified for people to sit down and have a meal rather than eat street food."
Stan wants to reach out to other venues in Northampton and ask them to open their doors and feed the homeless on the other weeknights.
"We are looking for facilities, for people to come and sit down and have a meal," he added.
"We were doing it on the market and it does not sit right with me to have people queuing for food.
"I'm not looking to take over weekends as there are established groups who work over weekends.
"If the guys sit down and have a meal it's ideal for the other agencies to sit down and have a chat with them and build relations.
"Give a man their dignity and they can build their self-respect."