Emergency accommodation for homeless people during the winter has opened in Hereford.

Herefordshire council has been working with partners throughout 2023 to find and make ready a premises for use as winter emergency accommodation. 

Open from Monday, December 11, the accommodation will operate between 8pm and 8am to deliver emergency accommodation to males and females who are unfortunately in a position where they are sleeping on the street. 

The emergency accommodation is a mix of dormitory style accommodation for men and self-contained pods for women. 

There will also be additional pods that will be available as overflow for the shelter and will form as a part of wider offer of support to people who would otherwise be sleeping rough after the shelter has closed.

The council’sRough Sleeper Outreach Team will continue work with people accessing the shelter, alongside a wide range of partner organisations and charities, to support individuals to work through causes and symptoms of their homelessness and to access suitable accommodation for their futures. 

The project is being funded by Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities through the Rough Sleeping Initiative funding framework, and is Kindly supported by business and public donations and the work of a range of charitable groups. 

Prior to opening this emergency accommodation, Herefordshire Council has been offering emergency accommodation to rough sleepers during extreme cold weather as part of the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol. 

Councillor Carole Gandy, cabinet member for adults, health and wellbeing, said: “I’m delighted that once again Herefordshire Council along with the voluntary sector has been able to provide warm, secure winter accommodation for some of our most vulnerable residents.

“This could not have been achieved without the hard work of our staff and a number of volunteers and donations from within the community. 

“I was able to visit this appropriately adapted and well equipped facility and was really impressed by the standard of the accommodation. 

“I am hopeful that most of those who would benefit from this facility will take up the offer and be comfortable and secure this winter.”

Herefordshire council would like to express their gratitude  to everyone joining them in this initiative: Herefordhsire Community Foundation, marches Ground Maintenance, The Elgar and City rotary clubs, The Living Room, Turning Point, Hereford Foodbank, Salvation Army, J Mart and Dulux. 

The following organisations are donating food and goods to the shelter: The Taste of Italy, The Green Dragon Hotel, CLC (Christian Life Church), Castle House Hotel, SPSJ (St Peter St James), La De Kitchen Turkish, Cotto Italian, Central Roofing, The Country Food Trust, Beefy Boys. 

Vikki Thomas from The Living Hope is coordinating nightly food and warm space from 6-8pm at the Union Street Cafe chichis specifically for rough sleepers using the shelter over winter. This also opened on Monday, December 11 and will be open everyday until further notice.

Hereford City Church is also allowing use of their non cafe space for the nightly food offer that The Living Hope are running, and during the day when it operates from 11am to 2pm as a homeless hub.