(Report from Andree Lee, Shelter Project Hounslow overall Co-ordinator)
TSPH has just passed its first month mark. We started a whole month earlier this year and all concerned has applauded this move. But we are about the only shelter in Greater London which is still not full, with a waiting list.
This flags up the complexities regarding Hounslow Borough: their lack of outreach, the difficulty of rough sleepers left too long on the streets and consequently their unsuitability to the shelters. We’re dealing with a wide range of needs including mental health issues, substance abuse, asylum seeking, irregular immigration status, serious entrenchment. We have networked widely to work with UKBA, local Police, alcohol and drugs rehab services, hospital discharge services, local GPs surgeries – as well as the major homelessness agencies and Housing, Mental Health, Social Services departments.
The shelter teams are lovely and loving. Volunteers are a healthy mix of church and other volunteers. We are awaiting the appointment of our own case worker to share the burden of care. We have started one Day Hub, where guests are already ‘case worked’ by London Street Rescue, and hope to extend this work over the months to come. Both the dedicated caseworker and hub manager’s jobs will be funded by the Innovations Grant which TSPH has successfully acquired at the end of 2013.
Please continue to hold TSPH in prayer:
- for God’s light to push back the darkness;
- for the protection and encouragement of all volunteers and shelters; and
- for the homeless guests to know rescue and resolution to their issues.