Penarth Town Council has been told by local church leaders that in the event of extremely cold weather, they are ready to provide volunteers to assist homeless people sleeping rough in the town with an “Emergency Night Shelter” .
The Town Clerk Emma Boyden told the committee that in England, councils work with local churches to provide emergency accommodation for homeless people on exceptionally cold winter nights. She told councillors she understood that Shelter Cymru had some facilities in Wales.
Local church leaders have informed Penarth Council that the churches and volunteers would be ready to organise an “Emergency Night-Shelter” on winter nights. The scheme would be triggered when the outside temperature fell “below a certain level”
Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) asked whether Penarth Council itself was being asked to do anything – and was told that it wasn’t, but that the churches wanted the council to be aware that there would be volunteers ready to help.
Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines) added that the Huggard Centre [ the charity which provides short-term accommodation for homeless people in Cardiff] also provided emergency cold-weather accommodation and were able to turn their cafeteria into emergency accommodation to meet any needs in the Cardiff area. [The Huggard Centre operates a 22 bed hostel in Cardiff and specialises in assisting people sleeping rough on the streets. In extreme weather conditions it says it can provide nighttime shelter for over 20 additional homeless and vulnerable people who would otherwise be sleeping on the streets.]
Tabernacle Church in Plassey St Penarth already organises what it calls a Paradise (Homeless) Run – Winter Appeal in aid of homeless people who now sleep rough in Cardiff.