More than 30 people have used a new emergency night shelter in Northampton, the borough council has revealed.
The shelter, which opened for the first time on February 6 after a number of delays due to a lack of volunteers, has provided temporary accommodation to 32 men aged between 18 and 59.
The council says that since staying at the shelter, four people have moved into supported housing in Northampton and two more people have been helped to reconnect with services in a different area, closer to family and friends. Everyone who spends a night at the shelter is actively encouraged to talk to local agencies that offer advice and support.
Stephen Hibbert, cabinet member for housing and wellbeing, said: “We opened the night shelter to help people move away from dangerous situations and that’s what’s happening.
“A night spent in the shelter isn’t just about getting off the street for a few hours, it’s about getting one step closer to securing settled accommodation. Although it can take a while for people to work through their issues, our aim is to help and encourage everyone who stays at the shelter to engage with services and take a leap of faith.
“The key to the night shelter’s success is the fantastic team of volunteers who spend time talking to people about the support they need, and their hopes and fears. I can’t thank the volunteers enough for stepping forward to help deliver this vital service.”
The night shelter is open from 9pm until 9am every evening and has the capacity to provide temporary accommodation for up to 20 men. People who want to stay at the shelter must have a local connection with Northampton and be referred by one of five local agencies.
If you notice someone sleeping rough in Northampton, please visit www.streetlink.org.uk and complete the online form.
The shelter is still appealing for more volunteers. To get involved, visit www.northampton.gov.uk/northamptonnightshelter.