Night shelter stays open to support homeless through coronavirus pandemic

Lucy McKitterick inside the night shelter in King's Lynn, where staff and volunteers hope to create

Lucy McKitterick inside the night shelter in King's Lynn, where staff and volunteers hope to create a homely atmosphere Picture: Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant

A winter night shelter for the homeless is staying open to support those on the streets through the coronavirus pandemic.

West Norfolk council has taken over the running of the King’s Lynn Winter Night Shelter building, which will continue to be used to shelter people until suitable accommodation can be found.

Sign up for the latest updates about coronavirus in NorfolkSince the shelter opened on October 31, the charity has given shelter to 101 individuals. More than 6,000 hours of volunteer time has been given.

The shelter has fed its guests with food given by local individuals and groups, while donations from individuals, organisations and the council have paid its running costs.

Lucy McKitterick, coordinator of the shelter said: “It has been wonderful to see King’s Lynn and West Norfolk come together to support our homeless this winter and we are delighted to be able to support the council by offering the night shelter building for this extended service.

“The current crisis has made the reality of life on the streets a special concern and it is good to see that the homeless will be given this extra help in a time of great need. The running of the winter night shelter has been made possible because people have given their time and resources. Their kindness is a powerful sign of hope in difficult times.”

MORE - Norfolk coronavirus deaths rise to 11Fr Adrian Ling, chair of trustees, said: “This year has been especially challenging, with damage to the building caused by Storm Ciara, and the Covid-19 virus outbreak.

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“The coordinator, staff and volunteers have done great work to ensure the delivery of this vital service. We are very pleased that the borough housing department has been vigorous and pro-active in addressing the problems of homelessness, and moved swiftly to provide ongoing provision.”

Adrian Lawrence, the council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “Once again the work of the Churches Together group has been invaluable at looking after some of the most vulnerable in society through the winter months.

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“Our housing team will continue to run the service for existing users only until suitable accommodation has been found.

“If you are homeless, or at risk of being homeless, and need assistance please phone us on 01553 616200. Out of hours you should call 01553 616601.”

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