Women's Night Shelter in partnership with The Boaz Trust
From October 6th 2017 until April 27th 2018, St Cross will work with the The Boaz Trust in running its first ever night shelter for destitute asylum seeking and refugee women. The Boas Trust has been running a men’s night shelter for nearly 10 years now, with the help of various churches over that time. The success of the men’s Boaz Night Shelter (BNS) will be the foundation upon which the women’s BNS will be built. St Cross will be one of seven churches to provide food, hospitality and accommodation nightly to 12 women for seven months, with St. Cross opening it's doors on Friday nights from early evening to 8am the following morning. The women will be provided with simple ground mats and sleeping bags. A hot meal will be provided each night, and breakfast will be available before departure. We are indebted to Joanne Owens who has also agreed to help coordinate this project with me. The shelter is only for destitute asylum seekers and refugees. Access is by referral only, from agreed agencies such as the Red Cross, Revive, Rainbow Haven, Cornerstone etc. All of the guests are assessed for suitability and it is hoped that while the women remain in the shelter, suitable move-on accommodation is found for them at some stage, and that the women be signposted for other needs such as dentists, GPs and solicitors.
For this project to run smoothly we will be looking for volunteers. There are a number of interesting ways in which anyone can be involved, depending on availability and commitment. They are –
Co-ordination: Liaising with Boaz, co-ordinating volunteers.
Reception: Being there to welcome the guests, helping with the meal and generally being around to chat. This is normally between 8.00pm(approx.) and 10pm.
Cooking and serving the evening meal: this can be done on-site or the meal can be brought pre-cooked.
Overnight supervision: Two volunteers are required to stay overnight.
Breakfast: This can be done by the overnight volunteers or someone different. A simple breakfast of cereal/toast is usually sufficient.
Driving: For locations further afield we need drivers to pick up the clients from the city centre in the early evening, and possibly some to drop them off in the morning.
Laundry: Week to week, sleeping bag liners, pillow cases and towels need washed and returned ready for use.
If you are interested in volunteering please speak to me (Fr Chris) or Joanne Owens.