For the last 5 years, Manna House has coordinated a Winter Shelter project in Kendal.
Following a model now used across the country, churches in Kendal offer their premises overnight to the project and teams of volunteers take it in turn to provide an evening meal, bed and breakfast to people who would otherwise have to spend the night on the street in the coldest months of the year.
Last year the Kendal Shelter ran from the beginning of December 2017 to the 2 March 2018 (extended a couple of days because of the sudden cold snap) at six different church venues. Next year we hope to open for a longer period.
To use the Shelter, clients have first to visit Manna House, talk to one of our advisors about their situation and sign a guest agreement, after which they are given identification and a map by which to find the Shelter for that night. Our intention is not just to provide one-off shelter but to begin to help people to find a way out of their situation and into stable housing, as well as offering access to other relevant support, for example with alcohol or substance misuse. (The closest referral-free Winter Shelter is run by Christchurch in Lancaster. This is an emergency solution for people not looking for help to find accommodation in the South Lakes.)
To find out more about how you, or your organisation, could support the Shelter (perhaps by donating camp beds or partnering your church or group with a Shelter Team to provide food for one night a week over the three or four months), please email the Winter Shelter Coordinator or ring 01539 725534 and talk to Lois.