Run by volunteers from the Victorious Life Church, the shelter provides those in need with a warm and secure place to sleep, a hot meal, shower facilities and the use of washing machines and dryers for clothing.
The Isle of Wight Council provides the facility at Downside Community Centre free of charge and also provides a range of information and advice for those using the centre, such as housing support and benefits available.
The shelter has now been operational for three winters, initially opening when the weather dictated, and then opening between December and February. This year, the facility will remain open until the spring.
Councillor Steve Stubbings, Executive member for adult social care and community wellbeing, said:
“The volunteers from the church do an amazing job, providing a warm and safe place during the winter months for those unfortunate enough to be homeless. The council is committed to supporting the Island’s most vulnerable residents and is pleased to be able to provide Downside Community Centre as a shelter.
“The public has been extremely supportive of the shelter, donating food and clothing for which we are very grateful. As well as providing practical facilities, the shelter also offers a range of support and information which we know has assisted previous users of the shelter in securing permanent accommodation.”
The shelter is open between 19:00 and 08:00, with hot meals provided up to 21:30. More information about the Victorious Life Church can be found at www.victoriouslife.org.uk.
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