Emmanuel House to re-open Winter Shelter for 2021/22

Emmanuel House is delighted to confirm the re-opening of its Winter Shelter. The charity will offer accommodation for up to 22 people per night – ensuring there are fewer people on the streets during the coldest months of the year.

Prior to the pandemic, the Nottingham Winter Shelter, which has been running since 2006, utilised shared spaces, such as church halls, to offer accommodation to people who were rough sleeping each night. 

At the peak of the virus and as part of the Government’s ‘Everyone In’ initiative, the Shelter provision was moved to single rooms in local hotels where guests were able to safely self-isolate. The 24 hour wrap-around support this accommodation model offered proved invaluable and a total of 178 people moved into long-term accommodation. This provision came to an end earlier this year, but Covid regulations and restricted numbers have meant that a return to previous locations is no longer feasible.

In order to find a new solution that enables us to continue with the Winter Shelter, accommodation has been offered by The University of Nottingham at a cost-neutral rate. This will allow support work to continue during the day as guests are helped to find work, permanent accommodation and access other services. The Winter Shelter will utilise an empty building on the University Campus. This will be modified with the use of temporary walls and screens, so that each guest has their own space within current guidelines, with additional rooms on a separate floor to be used as isolation rooms if a guest tests positive for Covid-19. The Winter Shelter will offer 24 hour access, so that if there is another lockdown, guests will be able to use their rooms all day.

Denis Tully, CEO at Emmanuel House, said:

“The accommodation the University of Nottingham is able to provide enables us to build on the legacy of Everybody In when we moved 179 people into accommodation solutions.  I am very grateful to the University for all its support for this vital service as without its collaboration it is likely the service would not have happened this year.  It’s an exciting time for the project. 

“Historically the shelter has been located in a number of different residential areas around the city and has a record of being of the highest standard.  This was recognised when it was awarded the Housing Justice gold standard quality mark.” 

The Nottingham Winter Shelter serves the needs of homeless and vulnerable people during the coldest months of the season. We provide them with shelter, acceptance, physical and emotional support, and encouragement in making positive changes in their lives.  Anyone over the age of 18 can access the services regardless of their personal characteristics or cultural identity.

Ashley Roberts, Head of Campus Services, is leading the project. He said: “By supporting this work, up to 22 people will be off the streets and in a warm and safe location each night.

“We’ve already been able to offer donations of clothes and other items and the charity is grateful to those who might also be able to offer their time to volunteer to support them. We’re delighted that our Asymptomatic Testing Service can also support their work and help keep everyone safe. It shows all aspects of the university coming together to make a really positive difference to people’s lives.”

The Nottingham Winter Shelter provides a lifeline for the most vulnerable people in our society, giving them a safe space where they can find welcome, warmth and rest, food and drink and support and advice that can help them move away from homelessness to a brighter future. If the Winter Shelter is unable to operate, many needy people will be at risk, this year even more than usual. Homeless people face not only the usual dangers from cold and wet weather, but also additional dangers of catching and spreading Covid-19 whilst sleeping rough or sofa surfing and unable to readily access healthcare.

The provision will last until March 2022.