Church Notices

Homelessness in the Waterside and the New Forest

The Waterside Churches together Nightshelter update November 2018

During the winter of 2017/18 the Waterside Churches Together launched the Nightshelter project. Within the Waterside area five local churches provided overnight accommodation on a rotating basis for those who were homeless and had been referred to the Nightshelter by the local agencies working with the homeless and needy in the waterside area. In the event there was a very low uptake.  Recent changes to the provision of Statutory Services through the new Homelessness Act have led the Waterside Nightshelter Charity Trustees to consider other ways to help the homeless or those who are under threat of becoming homeless.

It is now the statutory responsibility of Councils (in our case the NFDC) and other agencies to help the homeless or those threatened with homelessness; to this end more resources will be made available from the NFDC.

Although the needs of the homeless remain, the urgent need now appears to be to have means for the homeless or those threatened with homelessness to make contact with the helping agencies such as Citizens Advice Bureau, 2 Saints, and the Job Centre. These agencies are in Hythe so the Trustees believe that to have a ‘drop in’ Centre, staffed with knowledgeable people who can assist with a sympathetic ear, where folk can charge a mobile, use the internet or just enjoy a warm drink and some food will be a very positive way to help.

It is hoped to change the name and the charitable objectives. The Charity will be known as ‘The Crossings’ and will be an umbrella charity for other communities in the New Forest to be a part and be able to respond to local homeless needs.

It is hoped that the first ‘Drop In’ will open from January on two mornings a week (Wednesday and Saturday) in the Jordon Room at the front of St John Church in Hythe.

Further information about the project and how you may be able to help and support will be provided in the weeks to come.