Nov 2018 News

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Night shelter opens for the homeless

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Published on 1 November 2018

Cllr Emma Morse, Lead Councillor for People, at the Night Shelter

People sleeping rough over the winter nights can now come inside thanks to the creation of a new Night Shelter.

The 26-bed shelter has been provided by the City Council and run by local charity Julian House. Renamed The Junction - the former Spice Island restaurant in Magdalen Street will provide overnight sleeping accommodation for homeless people between November and the end of March.

The shelter will open tonight (1 November).

Funding for the facility has come from a successful application to the Government’s national initiative to reduce the number of rough sleepers. Exeter received £481,600 to provide support to people living on the streets and help them back into accommodation.

Cllr Emma Morse, Lead Councillor for People, said: “Last year we were unable to find the space to provide a dedicated winter shelter and instead used extra capacity at Gabriel House hostel and St Petrock’s centre.

“We’ve worked hard to identify a suitable site and Spice Island is an ideal location. Everyone in Exeter should have a roof over their head and providing this facility means that no-one should be sleeping outside over the cold winter months.”

In 2016, the City Council used a building in Market Street for a dedicated night shelter but the practice of providing an overnight facility dates back 51 years. In 1967, the City Council gave a free lease on a building near the Quay so that homeless people could come in out of the cold.

Beyond April, it is hoped that the building will be used as a community facility for the homeless, providing educational courses, arts and crafts and other meaningful activities.