Churches work together to help Rugby’s homeless

Pete Wayman from Hope4
Pete Wayman from Hope4
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Rugby’s Hope4 will again be opening a Winter Shelter between December 1 and March 31 for the homeless and vulnerably housed.

The project is run with Revive, a network of over 30 churches in Rugby, Rugby Borough Council and the national Housing Justice Coalition. It will be Rugby Winter Shelter’s third consecutive year.

During last winter’s shelter project, 45 registered guests used the scheme on 1,136 occasions.

The Rev Dr Michael Bochenski, the chairman of Hope4 who is co-ordinating the project, said: “It has always seemed to me that one of the best tests of a caring community is the way it looks after its weakest and most vulnerable members. To share food with the hungry, provide the poor wanderer with shelter and clothing, and to help those in need is one of the clearest tests of our common humanity. The good will and commitment of so many people here in Rugby never ceases to amaze me.”

He added: “When the local church team leaders met recently to take the decision to go ahead or not we were all up for it, even though we all know it means four months of hard work for our volunteers and our churches.

“I am so pleased to be able to say that we will be opening the project for a third time this winter”.

Pete Wayman, Hope 4’s senior support worker, added: “Guests who wish to use the shelter this year should first be directed to the Hope Centre (46a Church Street), where what they need to do next will be clearly explained to them. Booking is essential.

“The council’s housing team have been made aware of this and conversations are continuing about what to do if any venue exceeds that number on a given night.”

Mr Wayman also shared news of the way the scheme is inspiring others: “The Winter Shelter model we operate here in Rugby is serving as a model for others in the West Midlands too. A similar scheme is being launched in Nuneaton this winter and there has also been some interest from the council and faith groups in Coventry.”

The shelter will be open to guests each night between 7.30pm and 8.30am. There are still gaps for volunteers to help with the night shifts, subject to satisfactory DBS clearance. For more information please contact the Hope4 on (01788) 572456 or on line at hope4.org.uk.