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Night shelter offers safe haven over winter months

Published: 15 October 2019

Cllr Emma Morse Cllr Emma Morse in one of the bedrooms at The Junction

Exeter’s night shelter has opened up for the winter, allowing rough sleepers to come inside on some of the coldest and roughest nights.

In March the City Council announced that it had secured £444,000 from the government to help run a number of new services for people who are rough sleeping including the facility over the coming winter.

Last winter the shelter – dubbed The Junction - supported 193 rough sleepers, providing a total of 3,985 bed nights.

The shelter allows 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. The facility will stay open until the end of March 2020.

As well as proving a life saver, the shelter in Magdalen Street – formerly Spice Island Indian restaurant – allows staff from the City Council and partner agencies to talk to those who have complex lives in a safe and stable environment and try and find longer term housing solutions. Last winter 72 people were successfully moved on into private sector or supported accommodation and a further 19 reconnected to accommodation or a housing appointment in their local area.

Cllr Emma Morse, Lead Councillor for Supporting People, said: “No-one should be sleeping out on the streets of Exeter and providing this facility can be life-saving when the nights start to draw in.”

Last winter the initiative was underpinned by great community support. An alliance of Exeter church groups delivered hot food for clients seven nights a week and a team of volunteers contributed alongside staff throughout the project.

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