Due to Coronavirus we had to close the Night Shelter a couple of days early. We had a great year with a wonderful atmosphere and given a bed to many vulnerable people. However with social distancing and finally “stay indoors”, we ironically had to say we could no longer put 20 men together in one “dormitory”. every night.
I am being asked what happens now, so to avoid multiple emails here we go.
In previous years, once the shelter is closed, those who haven’t been housed were back in tents. Due to the virus the government have released a serious amount of money to pay for individuals to be put into accommodation where they can self-isolate. Superb in theory, but we do see problems with that for this group of people.
Our staff continue to be employed and will be looking out for all our now ex-guests. This year, on the day we closed, St. Mungos and a council representative spent the day ringing B&B’s and hotels to find temporary accommodation for all who wanted it. Those without one were also given a mobile phone if they don’t have one.
Some did not take up the offer of a room. There are those who prefer to sleep outdoors and in this weather it is probably the safest form of self-isolation going. Our prayer is that they had not already caught Coronavirus while with us.