Ipswich: Project to give homeless people a place to sleep during winter to return

A PROJECT to give homeless people a place to sleep during the winter months is set to return this year.

A pilot for the Ipswich Winter Night Shelter ran last year with more than 300 people giving up their time and offering a helping hand.

So far six churches have signed up to help provide accommodation and food on a rotation between December 5 and March 3.

The scheme will mean that one of the churches will be open every night during the three month period, offering those sleeping tough dinner, bed and breakfast and a chance to escape the harsh winter weather.

Reverend Paul Daltry, minister for church and community engagement, said: “It is an important project for Ipswich.

“We know doing it at Christmas isn’t enough and that people always need support, but we are pleased to be able to do this during the colder months.

“We are running for a longer period of time than last year because it is still cold come March.

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“Last year we had more than 38 different individuals come in and use the beds. We had more than 300 volunteers too and they were really amazing.

“We have a lot of confidence in being able to get volunteers again this year because of how well it went last year. We didn’t know what to expect last year, but we were amazed with the generosity of volunteers who spared their time.

“We will be looking for help, especially during the overnight shifts and the early morning hours.

“It’s more than just helping out at Christmas and we need to improve how we deal with homelessness in general but at least this is a step in the right direction.”

Each church will take it in turns to host up to 12 people a night on a weekly rota.

More information is set to be available in the coming weeks through visiting www.iwns.org.uk