Northampton’s emergency nightshelter reached an important milestone earlier this week – booking 10,000 overnight stays since it first opened in February 2017.
This figure represents the total number of nights that 314 male guests have spent, between them, at the nightshelter. Two thirds of these guests have moved on successfully into settled housing.
Operated by Northampton Borough Council and staffed by a large team of dedicated volunteers, the nightshelter provides free, short-term, emergency accommodation between 9pm and 9am, 365 days of the year, for up to 20 men who are sleeping rough or at imminent risk of sleeping rough in the borough. The average length of stay is 34 nights.
Councillor Stephen Hibbert, cabinet member for housing and wellbeing, said: “The borough council is committed to ending the need for people to sleep rough in Northampton and we’re delighted that the nightshelter is thriving as a much valued community initiative - indeed reaching this milestone demonstrates just how well used it is.
“Once these men come through our doors, we are able to offer them hope, encouragement and the chance to rebuild their lives by helping them to access a wide range of local services.
“We are extremely grateful to all the volunteers who support the running of the nightshelter and the community and faith groups who attend each evening to provide hot food for the guests.”
The average age of the guests is 39 and, of those who have stayed at the nightshelter, 84 per cent are British, 12 per cent were in paid employment or receiving a pension, 22 per cent had no income and 66 per cent were in receipt of benefits.
Volunteers have donated more than 16,600 hours of their spare time to help keep the nightshelter open, and there are currently 60 volunteers who work regular shifts between 8.30pm and 9.30am, offering guests encouragement, advice and support.
The nightshelter is not direct access, so guests are only admitted if they have been risk assessed and meet the access criteria.
More information about the nightshelter, including details on how to volunteer, can be found here.