Housing

Salvation Army to open its doors to homeless over winter

Salvation Army BarnstapleSalvation Army centre, Barnstaple

Posted on: 24 December 2019

A joint initiative by two councils to give rough sleepers in North Devon and Torridge a warm bed for the night kicks off next week.

The project, called Safe Sleep, last year helped 111 people, at least 36 of whom are now in secure accommodation. This year, North Devon and Torridge councils have joined forces to provide the service to rough sleepers across both districts. Safe Sleep will be based at the Salvation Army centre in Barnstaple and will be open between 2 January and 31 March 2020.

Housing officers from both councils are now calling for volunteers to help out when the Salvation Army centre opens its doors, as well as requesting donations, including:

  • tinned soup and tinned tomatoes
  • pasta and rice
  • lentils, beans and pulses
  • tea, coffee and biscuits
  • board games for adults

North Devon Council’s Lead Member for Housing, Councillor Nicola Topham said: “We are very pleased to be opening our doors to those in need during the cold winter months by offering shelter at night and refreshments. We would be very grateful for volunteers who are in a position to help out at the centre between January and March, making tea and coffee, providing a warm welcome, and supporting staff. Last year, residents were generous enough to donate items to support those in need and we’d be extremely grateful to receive this help again. If you have any provisions you don’t need, please take them to Lynton House in Barnstaple.”

Torridge District Council’s Lead Member for Homelessness and Housing Need, Councillor Michael Clarke said: “I would echo the comments made by Nicola and would ask everybody to do whatever they can to help support this important work. Sometimes our assistance here can lead to longer term solutions for people using this service and its encouraging that over a third of those we’ve helped previously have now secured long term and more permanent accommodation.”

Prospective volunteers are asked to email North Devon Council’s Service Lead for Housing, Vulnerable Persons and Community Safety, Natasha Rowland on natasha.rowland@northdevon.gov.uk.

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