According to the latest figures (collected in the autumn of 2017 and published in January 2018), 4,751 people were sleeping rough in England. The figure has been rising for the past 7 years. The East Midlands region saw an increase of 23% in rough sleeping since 2016 compared with a national increase of 15%. All the signs are that the figures for 2018 will show a further significant increase in the number of rough sleepers in our area
Inevitably, the burden of alleviating the day to day problems of homelessness will fall on charitable organisations such as The Sanctuary, a night shelter in Rushden that has been opening its doors the homeless for over 10 years.
The Sanctuary is a 6-bed facility staffed by volunteers which is open every evening from 6.30 pm, 365 days a year and provides a safe place for those who would otherwise be sleeping rough in or around Rushden.
The Sanctuary has a full support team working Monday to Friday 9am – 1pm which aims to work closely with each resident to identify why they have become homeless and to assist them with finding appropriate, longer term accommodation including social housing and supported accommodation. It also has a qualified counsellor to support the residents and offers a weekly peer group session to share experiences.
To highlight the issues around homelessness and to raise vital funds for its work, the Sanctuary is hosting a Sleep Out on Friday 25 January 2019. Those wanting more information and to register to take part, can email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01933 733 001. Those wishing to donate can do so at www.give.net/20217071.
The Sanctuary is also looking to recruit new volunteers to cover the evening shift from 6.00 pm to 10.00 pm and the night shift from 10.00 pm to 9.00 am. Anyone interested in helping is invited to contact Maria Borg, the Night Shelter Manager, on 01933 353946.