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Opening up for the homeless

Date published: 06 December 2018


Homelessness charity Depaul UK has opened a winter night shelter in Oldham.

The shelter - based at rear of the Oldham Community Fire Station on Lees Road - will take in people experiencing homelessness until the end of the winter as part of Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham's 'A Bed Every Night' initiative.

People seeking refuge at the shelter will have access to shower facilities, a hot meal and hot drinks from 9pm to 9am every night.

Oldham Council is also providing camp beds, sleeping bags and toiletries.

Alexia Murphy, Depaul UK Executive Director of Operations, said: “We are pleased to be able to open this crucial service in Oldham and are extremely grateful for the support we have received from Oldham Council and the Mayor’s A Bed Every Night initiative.

"We wouldn’t be able to provide the necessary support to people who would be otherwise sleeping rough without collaboration from local services.

“We expect that demand for this service will continue to grow as the days get shorter and the winter gets colder.

“Beyond providing a warm bed for the night, this service can make a difference to a person’s longer term success by supporting and signposting them to the necessary services.

“Links with local organisations have meant that we have been able to provide necessary support with health, housing and benefits.

"We’ve even managed to rehouse one person already.”

People are expected to sleep at the shelter for a maximum of three weeks before they are rehoused or placed in more permanent accommodation.

Depaul UK is also using the shelter as a way of signposting those who use it to other services and organisations which can help, including a local GP surgery.

A recent open house event at the night shelter was attended by Oldham Councillor Hannah Roberts, Oldham Fire Station Manager Tony Morgan, as well as Oldham Councillor Peter Davies, who was representing Oldham Street Angels.

People are referred to the Depaul shelter by Oldham Council, First Choice Homes and Oldham Street Angels.


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