LOCAL CHURCHES READY TO SET UP ‘EMERGENCY NIGHT-SHELTER’ IN PENARTH

Even in Penarth:  Caught in the headlights a woman with an old shopping trolley  forages through refuse bags awaiting  collection on Raisdale Road 8/12/2016

Even in Penarth: Caught in the headlights, a woman with an old shopping trolley forages through refuse bags awaiting collection on Raisdale Road 20:15 8/12/2016

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.

Penarth Town Council's HQ at West House where councillors heard local church volunteers would be ready to help the homeless if night temperatures dropped below a certain level

Penarth Town Council’s HQ at West House where councillors heard local church volunteers would be ready to help the homeless if night temperatures dropped below a certain level

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.

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9 Responses to LOCAL CHURCHES READY TO SET UP ‘EMERGENCY NIGHT-SHELTER’ IN PENARTH

  1. Chris David says:

    Admirable- but will this attract homeless people to Penarth? If so would it not be better to increase the facilities in Cardiff. More convenient for the homeless!

  2. snoggerdog says:

    im certainly not religious but T.A.B.s is definatly “action speaks louder than words”

    • Lindsay says:

      I’m with you snoggerdog. Tabs is a fine example to us all. Let’s tackle a problem rather thank argue about whether it exists.

      • Chris David says:

        I’m not at all sure ya aren’t being facetious Lindsay. You want to tackle a problem that doesn’t exist? Hmm yes I forgot, a VOG supporter. Ps- just a thought- as hinted you may actually create a problem that doesn’t exist. Aha got you, create one, then tackle it, claim a great victory and mirror the various Vales councils decision making process hah. FAB.

      • Lindsay says:

        Thank you for your response Chris. As thoughtful as ever. I understand your obsession with VoG, it is oft repeated, but read the report again. “…..asked whether Penarth Council itself was being asked to do anything – and told that it wasn’t”. Nothing for PTC to do and no mention of VoG, apart from a reported comment from Cllr Burnett, in relation to a homeless charity. Like you, I have no firm knowledge of the extent of any problem but the people who want to DO something are clearly of the mind that there is a need. We should applaud their initiative, not sneer at the issue in order to pursue an unrelated agenda. Crass comments about attracting homeless people from other areas are unwelcome at any time but particularly so at a time off supposed goodwill to all men.

  3. RetailGuru says:

    Hmmm I’m not sure that Penarth has a homelessness problem. Yes, there is a problem with homelessness in South Wales, and facilities like the Huggard centre are geared up to deal with this. I agree with Chris David, in that creating such a facility for homeless people will only attract them to move out of the city into Penarth.

  4. Chris David says:

    Unlike you I do some research Lindsay and it appears a better solution for the homeless is to invest further in their care where the problem lies- in this case Cardiff. We don’t need vanity projects we need hard solutions that mean something. I have indeed already applauded the principle. Goodwill to all men! Have you been shopping.

    • RetailGuru says:

      Absolutely right, Chris. The problem lies in the major towns and cities… we don’t need to spread the problem further afield into the smaller towns where (with the greatest of respect) the expertise in providing support isn’t there. Local churches and do-gooder’s ARE NOT experienced in the challenging and complex issues faced by homeless people, whereas the highly trained people at places like the Huggard Centre are experienced in providing support and solutions to homeless people NOT handouts!

  5. Elizabeth Mccarthy says:

    The Vale certainly does have a homelessness problem. You may not always see people sleeping on the streets, but there are people required to sleep in cars – if they have them – or stay with friends and relatives. If that goes wrong they are out on the streets with no help. The VOG are notoriously heartless when it comes to this. Cardiff does have a slightly more responsible attitude.

    I was standing in the Vale offices once and I met a woman who was sleeping in her car and very upset. She had been told that she was not ‘vulnerable’ and therefore they had no responsibility to house her – even in a hostel or a B and B. They don’t do it anymore. Why is a woman sleeping in her car not ‘vulnerable’?

    If any department in the Vale needs a shake up – that one is it. One or two people working there are oddly defiant in their resolve not to help and others just seem happy to take a wage every month and are not prepared to challenge their ‘rules’. Weird. Worked in homelessness in London and I have found the comfy old vale to be more brutal. Take from that what you will…but if there are any councillors reading this – please do something about it. At the very least can you explain what ‘duty of care’ means – because I tried hard to explain the commonly understood role of a local authority to one or two of them on behalf of a a friend and they just kept saying ‘But we don’t do that sort of thing’ back at me as if that was some sort of answer…

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