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Funding secured for next winter's Night Shelter

Published: 28 March 2019

Funding secured for next winter's Night Shelter Exeter's night shelter has proved popular with rough sleepers

Exeter’s night shelter supported 194 rough sleepers over the winter and will open up again in November thanks to the City Council securing extra funding.

The shelter – dubbed The Junction – is set to wind down at the end of the month as the weather improves and temperatures go up.

Since opening up its doors in November, the facility has provided a total of 3,239 bed nights and given shelter, allowing those sleeping rough to come inside on some of the coldest nights over the winter, when the City Council has enacted its Severe Weather Protocol (SWEP).

The shelter has allowed the City Council and its partners Julian House and BCHA to engage with service users and help safeguard some of the most excluded and vulnerable people in the city.

As well as proving a life saver, the shelter in Magdalen Street – formerly Spice Island Indian restaurant – has allowed staff from the City Council team to talk to those who have complex lives in a safe and stable environment and try and find longer term housing solutions. A total of 32 people have successfully moved on into private sector or supported accommodation.

The council is now working alongside the service provider Julian House to ensure that all remaining night shelter residents have a move on plan in place when the shelter closes its doors on Sunday for the summer season.

One of the great things about the initiative has been the community support that has underpinned the service. An alliance of Exeter church groups has delivered hot food for clients seven nights a week and a team of volunteers have contributed alongside staff throughout the project.

Moving forward, there’s positive news with the City Council successfully securing £444,000 from the government to help run the facility next winter. This comes on top of recent awards of £348,450 for the Rapid Rehousing Pathway and £120,800 through the Private Rented Access Fund. 

The extra funding will also enable the expansion of the Council’s Housing First Project from five accommodation units to 15 over the coming year as well as supporting other homelessness projects.

The Council is extremely grateful to Julian House, BCHA the Housing Options Team and the community for all the hard work over the past five months that has made the project a success.  Thanks also goes to local residents and businesses in the area for their patience and support.

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