On Monday 13th August, East Staffordshire Borough Council’s Cabinet approved the payment of a 20k grant to the YMCA in order to provide a winter night shelter for rough sleepers.
Churches Together and Burton YMCA provided a night shelter for the first time in several years last winter after successfully securing a grant from Consolidated Charity of Burton upon Trent. However, due to the cost of providing a winter night shelter, Burton YMCA would not be able to offer the night shelter facility again without this additional grant from the Council.
The night shelter, which will operate from the Parish Church of St Paul’s, will be open from early December 2018 until the end of March 2019. This venue was used last year and there was no evidence of increased anti-social behaviour or crime in the area. Of the 95 guests that were accommodated in 2017/18, 89 were resettled successfully and only 6 returned to living on the streets.
Councillor Patricia Ackroyd, Deputy Leader for Housing and Homelessness, said: “I’m delighted that the Council has approved the recommendation to make this one off grant payment for the provision of a night shelter. This will complement the investment the Council made into the Burton YMCA Rough Sleepers Outreach Service.
“The night shelter will provide a welcoming and accessible environment for rough sleepers during the cold and dark winter months and also provide the Council and other outreach groups with the opportunity to engage with rough sleepers, with a view to securing suitable long term accommodation.”
Paul Laffey Chief Executive of Burton YMCA said ‘It’s fantastic that East Staffordshire Borough Council have awarded this grant. In addition to the funding secured from Consolidated Charity this will ensure the Burton Night Shelter can go ahead for a second year. A huge thanks to all involved with this decision at the Council. It will ensure we can get people off the streets during the harsh winter months.’’