Support the Thanet Winter Shelter
Celebrating one year of RISE
Thanet’s award winning Winter Shelter, a safe place for homeless people to take shelter in during the harsh winter months, opens on 11 November 2019.
The Winter Shelter is free to anyone who needs to access it and referrals are made by Thanet’s Rough Sleeper Service, RISE. At least 20 bed spaces will be provided nightly, as well a hot evening meal and breakfast the next morning.
The seasonal facilities have been running for four years and have supported more than 100 guests. The Shelter is run by the Salvation Army and local Thanet churches, with support from the council and volunteers. Like last year, thanks to extra funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)*, it will run for 19 weeks closing on 29 March 2020.
To mark World Homeless Day (10 October), people can donate or get involved in the Shelter and make a real difference to local people’s lives:
- To volunteer your time to help run the shelter or to offer professional skills such as dentistry, hairdressing, chiropody, please visit the Thanet Winter Shelter volunteer page. Full training and ongoing support will be provided
- Help with fundraising and donate via the Thanet Winter Shelter Go Fund Me page **
- Buy something specific for the Shelter via the Amazon Wish List
- Donations of food or bedding are also gratefully received. Please see the website or contact the Salvation Army in Ramsgate
Thanet Winter Shelter’s new Manager, Danilo Luongo said:
“A large number of people have already shown their support for the campaign and have come forward to volunteer to help with shifts which is amazing. Without venues, we cannot run the Shelter so I am appealing to churches, organisations and individuals who have hall space for one or more evenings per week. Please get in touch if you can help, Danilo@ThanetWinterShelter.org.”
The Winter Shelter offers much more than just a safe sanctuary for the night and is focused on finding a permanent solution to guests’ housing needs. It works closely with the RISE team to ensure personalised support plans are in place so clients can be helped to find secure and long-term accommodation, whilst also addressing any barriers which have prevented them from finding and keeping a home in the past. The RISE team will also help guests prepare for and find training and employment.
Cllr Lesley-Ann Game, Thanet District Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods said:
“Living on the streets is one of the most frightening, dangerous and isolating experiences anyone could face. Thanet’s Winter Shelter means that those in need on the Isle will receive a caring arm to help them rebuild their lives, access the support they need and address the reasons for their rough sleeping.”
The RISE project, which officially launched on World Homeless Day last year, provides wraparound support for rough sleepers. The team is made up of three outreach workers, a substance misuse and a mental health professional. It also includes dedicated landlord officers who source the right accommodation and then work closely with people to help them retain it.
A total of 163 people have been supported by the RISE team, 69 of which have been housed. 93 people received additional ‘non-housing related’ support that they needed in order to sustain accommodation. 17 people have been reconnected to areas where they had a local support network. The team is still supporting a further 20 people who have recently been housed, helping them adjust in order to keep their new tenancies.
*Run by The Salvation Army and part funded by Thanet District Council (£20,000) with a further £10,000 from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government as well as charitable donations.
**Alternatively cash or cheques can be given to TWS via The Salvation Army, 167 High Street, Ramsgate CT11 9TT and BACS details are available upon request.
Advice is always to donate to registered charities rather than give cash to those on the streets.
The RISE project, which stands for ‘Rough sleeper Intervention, Support and Empowerment’, is a multi-agency partnership between , Thanet District Council, Kent County Council Adult Social Care, Serveco and the Forward Trust. It also works alongside Pathways to Independence, Paramount Independent Property Services, the Salvation Army, Gap project and the Winter Shelter.
RISE was officially launched on 10 October 2018 to help rough sleepers find and keep somewhere to live, by ensuring the support services that are needed are joined up and in one place. The RISE team includes staff from Serveco (where Danilo Luongo used to work) plus dedicated substance misuse and mental health professionals. This means it can address the underlying reasons someone might struggle to stay in accommodation and provide longer term solutions to help to break the cycle of rough sleeping.