01962 862050  admin@wcns.org.uk

Interior 3

About Us

Winchester Churches Nightshelter has provided a vital lifeline to the homeless since 1988 and remains the only Nightshelter offering direct access emergency accommodation in Hampshire.

We have 17 beds and open 365 days of the year. We support, on average, between 140 - 200 homeless people yearly, and our residents usually stay until more permanent accommodation is found which matches their needs.

As well as receiving high quality accommodation, nutritious food, and a safe and caring temporary home, during their stay at the Nightshelter our residents benefit from a programme of practical and emotional support to help them escape homelessness for good.

This includes one-to-one advocacy support and advice, computer training, help with budgeting and finances, practical aid with food and nutrition, guidance for anyone with substance misuse problems, and counselling.

Our aim is to enable people to rebuild their lives and escape homelessness for good.

Read about the history of the Nightshelter.

Why is our service so vital?

- There is an acute lack of housing support for the homeless in Hampshire. Each year the Nightshelter is forced to turn away on average between 300 - 400 people due to lack of bed space.

- This issue is compounded by a shortage of affordable housing – just 13 properties were affordable to rent in Winchester in 2011 and there is now a waiting list of three to four years to access Winchester City Council housing.

- Many of those who find themselves homeless are not only coping with a lack of housing. By tackling homelessness head on and with expanded support work, we also helping to alleviate wider issues often relating to homelessness:

      1 in 3 homeless people have attempted suicide

       7 out of 10 homeless people have a mental health problem

       79% of ex-offenders who are homeless are re-convicted within 1 year

Our results

- Our bed occupancy is usually over 97% year-on-year, highlighting the very real need for our services.

- We have successfully secured long-term accommodation for 70% of our residents.

- 98% of residents report that their confidence has grown during their stay at the Nightshelter.

For us, the most important result is helping our individual residents to transform their lives. The majority of our residents feel that we are doing a good job at this.

 

The clients, no matter what their situation is, are always polite, pleasant and nearly always cheerful. They seem to really appreciate the service.

Source