Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting KNEWS to 80360, or email
Winter shelter scheme launched in Keighley for first time
A scheme supplying winter shelter to the homeless and helping them find permanent accommodation is coming to Keighley for the first time.
The Inn Churches initiative, which began in Bradford four years ago, will run a shelter at All Saints’ Church in Highfield next week.
The scheme caters for 12 homeless people at a time, referred via partner organisations in Bradford and Keighley.
Between late November and mid-March, shelter is provided at a different church each week. ‘Guests’ can remain with the project until they find permanent accommodation.
They are assisted by Inn Churches co-ordinator and support worker Juli Thompson.
Each person receives an evening meal, somewhere to sleep overnight and a hot breakfast.
No less than 80 volunteers from more than 20 churches will help stage next week’s venture, which is being carried out with Keighley Churches Together.
Alan Mottershead, joint local co-ordinator and a member of All Saints’ Church, said: “Demand for the shelter has been very high.
“Access is by referral only. It has not been possible to accommodate all who have been referred, which is perhaps a reflection of the 47 per cent increase in homelessness in Bradford district during the past year.”
He said the scheme – which until now had just operated from Bradford churches – was a real success story, involving several hundred volunteers and helping many homeless people from different backgrounds.
The project had 115 referrals last winter, of which 60 per cent were helped into permanent accommodation.
“Initially, when it started, it simply provided a bed for the night, but our aim is to find a home for these people,” Mr Mottershead added. “Giving them shelter for a night doesn’t solve their problems.
“Those volunteering this time are relatively new, but I would like to believe that next year we could perhaps host two weeks in Keighley.”
Contact Mr Mottershead on 07894 547153 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit innchurches.co.uk for further information.