Narrowgate Night Shelter (Manchester City Mission’s homeless shelter near the Precinct) recently had to close, as a change of law prevented them claiming essential funds via Housing Benefits, and other funds available to the shelter are unable to sustain the work.
The shelter was therefore forced to close at short notice, five paid staff were made redundant, and up to twenty eight homeless people per night now have substantially reduced options for overnight emergency help, as it is the only emergency shelter for the homeless in Salford and Manchester.
In the three and a half years that the shelter has been open, 2,220 people were referred to Narrowgate for emergency overnight accommodation, of which 865 went on to find more permanent accommodation.
Due to the generosity of one member of the public, the shelter has now been able to reopen temporarily for three days a week, but a more permanent solution would be for the law to be changed. A petition has been created so that you can join the call on government to make night shelters, like Narrowgate, exempt from the recent definition of a “dwelling”, so that Housing Benefit can continue to be claimed by the residents who rely on the shelter whilst they seek alternative accommodation.
[button url=”http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/housing-benefit-and-night-shelters” target=”_blank” size=”large” arrow=”right”]Sign the petition[/button]
Narrowgate presents a significant practical mission opportunity for the church in Salford. People can get involved in many ways, for example:
- being a Church rep for the Narrowgate in the Church, to raise the profile of the work and to stimulate prayer through up-to-date knowledge of needs and things to praise God for
- to volunteer at the Narrowgate, either through practical overnight support, or through changing bed linen in the mornings, or even occasional shopping trips for the basics like coffee, milk, sugar, bread etc.
- sponsoring a bed
Picking up the last point – sponsoring a bed – Narrowgate are particularly keen for beds to be sponsored, as this gives a degree of certainty of being able to provide and manage the beds. Typical sponsorships are:
- £8 per month – this will give one homeless person shelter for one night per month;
- £250 per month – this will provide a bed space for one month, giving stability and security in a homeless persons journey to move off the streets;
- a single donation of £3,000 – this will provide a bed space for one year, enabling many homeless people to be helped;
- any other amount will help to run the Narrowgate and will be greatly appreciated.
If you’d like more details about the shelter, visit the Narrowgate Night Shelter website.
Please note: Narrowgate Night Shelter is run by Manchester City Mission, and so all queries regarding Narrowgate should be directed to them.