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Plans under way to open Norwich homeless shelter for second winter

PUBLISHED: 17:30 02 May 2019 | UPDATED: 17:30 02 May 2019

A homeless person sleeping in a doorway. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A homeless person sleeping in a doorway. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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Community organisations and churches who collaborated to run a shelter in Norwich for homeless people have started plans for next winter after helping 58 people between December and March.

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The shelter was run collaboratively between Norwich Central Baptist Church and Russell St Community Centre (run by St Thomas's Church) and was set up as a community response to the number of homeless people in the city and a lack of available hostel spaces to accommodate everyone over the winter.

Of the 58 people who used the shelter, some used it just once or twice while some used it more often. The shelter was operated between the two locations and was staffed by volunteers. Some 29 of the shelter users have now been housed and all have been offered additional support by partners including Norwich City Council and the Pathways Norwich homelessness service.

Gill Duffy of Norwich City Baptist Church said: “It's very sad that homelessness in the city is at the level where this kind of shelter is needed. I understand this is the first time in about 20 years that Norwich has had a winter shelter, but it was needed and the community and churches have responded to this need. We will now be seeking support to re-open the shelter next winter.”

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