Every year, in the winter months, people die on the streets of our city because of a lack of shelter. Once again, this year we are partnering with thirteen other churches across Brighton & Hove to provide a Night Shelter and make a difference this winter.
So, for nine Sunday evenings, starting on Sunday 21st January, Holland Road will be hosting the Night Shelter in the church hall. The Night Shelter will provide food and accommodation for several men and women who would otherwise be sleeping rough.
As well as seeking to meet their immediate needs (i.e. shelter and food) we ensure that our friendly team are also there to listen to and chat with the guests, pray with them if they want to, and be able to direct them onto other professional services; to help get them started in the search for permanent accommodation or access professional support in the areas of tackling addictions or mental health problems.
Last year, over 20 of the 50 guests on the programme were found accommodation, some found work and one started university. Three of last year’s guests will actually be helping at this year’s night shelter!
The shelter isn’t a drop-in where anyone can turn up, rather we take referrals from professional agencies across the city who meet and assess each of the guests before sending them onto us.
Every Sunday evening the shelter runs three shifts; evening, night and morning. The evening team help set the shelter up, welcome the guests, cook and serve dinner. The night team oversee the safety and security of the guests whilst they sleep, and the morning team cook and serve breakfast, clear up and help the guests get ready for the day.
The shelter is supported entirely by the generous and sacrificial giving, both of time and money, of the churches across the city. I am hugely grateful to God, who has given us so much, for those who by giving towards this are remembering the words of Jesus when He said:
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)