Oxford’s first winter night shelter goes from strength to strength

THE new Oxford Winter Night Shelter is going so well that plans are being made for the scheme to be repeated next year.

The Revd Mary Gurr, Oxford’s Homelessness Chaplain

The Revd Mary Gurr, Oxford’s homelessness chaplain, said: “Most nights we have 10 guests, some of whom have become regulars.  It is humbling to see how beneficial a good night’s sleep has been. We have been shocked to discover that some rough sleepers have jobs, but have taken comfort in the fact that undisturbed sleep enables them to cope so much better with a working day.  There is also an increasing camaraderie between the guests and volunteers as trust is gained.  Some guests are already talking about move on plans.

“It has been a privilege to be part of this project.  Guests and volunteers have equally gained from the experience.  We have been greatly supported by all sections of the community with donations of practical items and support, volunteering and financial support, and are now making plans for next winter.”

Last year the growing problem of homelessness in the Thames Valley was discussed at a special day organised by the Diocese of Oxford. Read a full report of that and hear what the speakers had to say here. In the run up to Christmas, we reported how churches across the region are making a difference by running projects to help the homeless. Read the story here.