We are sadly having to use words like unprecedented and heavyhearted all too often these days, but they feel entirely appropriate to use in the situation we find ourselves in right now. Yesterday, we took the difficult decision to close our night shelter for the rest of the season. We truly believe that this is the best decision for the health and well-being of our night shelter guests and of course our 300+ volunteers who have worked so hard this winter to keep our night shelter running.
We have just had confirmation from the city council that they have managed to secure enough rooms from tonight, so that our current guests will be safe and able to keep themselves as healthy and well as possible. Many of our guests have been with us for weeks if not months, and we are so concerned for their health after they've spent so much time without any real stability, especially in the current crisis when many day centres and specialist services are reducing or closing their services. We are so grateful to Manchester City Council and their homeless team who are working hard to make sure some of the most vulnerable people in our city are safe.
Our night shelter coordinator, Vron, has spent time at our reception venue over the last couple of evenings, to make sure the guests understand the rapidly changing context and to try and reassure them that we are still going to be there for them. We've also communicated with all our venue coordinators, asking them to pass this information on to our incredible team of over 300 night shelter volunteers.
We will provide support for our guests by phone instead of at our weekly drop in, and we will also be providing for peoples' basic needs. We don't yet know exactly how the practicalities and logistics of this will work but initially we will provide everyone with a toiletries and food parcel.
This has been such a difficult decision, but we do feel it is the right decision. As Chief Exec I'd particularly like to thank all of our incredible volunteer venue coordinators and their teams, our churches and church leaders, the team at Friends Meeting House. I also want to thank our night shelter coordinator, Vron, for her hard work especially over the last few weeks.
If you have any questions, please contact the office by email on [email protected] and we will respond as quickly as we can.