Transform Housing & Support’s winter shelter for homeless people from Elmbridge, Runnymede and Spelthorne has helped 14 people in its first month.
Transform is running the winter shelter to help local people who find themselves homeless and who could otherwise be sleeping rough. The shelter gives people a bed for the night, a hot meal, and advice to help them get off the streets.
The shelter launched on 5 January 2016 and helped 14 homeless people during its first month of operation. Four people have already been supported by Transform to move into settled accommodation.
Paul Mitchell, Chief Executive of Transform Housing & Support, said:
“This winter, there are many homeless people across Surrey who are facing the prospect of sleeping rough in torrential rain, gale force winds and frosty conditions. Our winter shelter gives these people a bed for the night, a hot meal and a place where they can get clean, warm and dry. Thanks to donations, we have a stock of clothes, toiletries and towels for those who need them.
“The shelter is more than just a bed for the night – it gives people stability, so they can deal with the problems that led to them becoming homeless. Each person gets support from our staff to look for settled accommodation. I’m pleased to say we’ve already helped four people to get off the streets and find somewhere to live.”
Overwhelming community support
The shelter has received overwhelming support from the local community, with many individuals and organisations donating funding, supplies and time to the project:
- Significant funding was given by Walton Charity, the Community Foundation for Surrey, JTI and Cargill.
- The youth group at St Paul's Church Addlestone raised over £1,500 with a sponsored sleep out.
- Staff at JTI organised a collection of toiletries and cleaning products for the shelter.
- Meals have been prepared by students at Brooklands College.
- Food, supplies and equipment were donated by the Aico, Besom, Costa Coffee, Dreams, East Elmbridge Foodbank, K&T Bray, Paragon Community Housing, PH Jones, Refugee Aid Elmbridge, Surrey Choices, Tesco, Walton & Hersham Foodbank, and Wilts Electrical.
- Many local people have volunteered their time, setting up the shelter, cooking and serving meals, and even providing haircuts for shelter clients.
Funding and support was provided by Surrey County Council and Elmbridge, Runnymede and Spelthorne Borough Councils. The project is running in partnership with the Rentstart charities from the three boroughs.