Volunteers needed to safeguard new homeless shelter

A light in the darkness - Tabor House offers shelter, friendship and supportTabor House, Birmingham’s new night shelter, is calling for volunteers who can spare some time to help homeless men and women in the city. 

We particularly need people who can cover night shifts, but would stress that volunteers will be able to get some sleep during the night.

Tabor House is due to open its doors on 28 September, becoming Birmingham’s only permanent night shelter. As well as offering shelter and food, it will actively support the people staying there to access the help they need to get off the streets and into more permanent accommodation.

Hospitality and a helping hand

The Deritend shelter will be reliant on kind-hearted volunteers who give some of their time to deliver this much needed support. Ninety people from across the city have already signed up to volunteer at Tabor House. Some will be trained to mentor guests, helping them take back control of their lives. Others will offer hospitality by helping prepare food and drinks, making beds, and keeping the place clean and tidy.

Despite the excellent number of people already involved, we need ten to fifteen additional people to come forward. If we can’t recruit enough volunteers, Tabor House will be unable to open as planned. The additional volunteers are needed to cover night and morning shifts, providing hospitality to guests.

Christy Acton of Father Hudson’s Care, one of the partner organisations behind Tabor House, said, “We’re nearly there. We’re just looking for a few more people and we’ll be ready to go. If you think you can help, contact me on 01675 434064 or email christyacton@fatherhudsons.org.uk.”

A caring collaboration

Tabor House has been developed in response to a significant increase in the number of people sleeping rough in Birmingham. At present, there is no permanent night shelter in the city, meaning people with nowhere to go end up sleeping on the street, in a doorway or a carpark. There they are vulnerable not only to the elements, but to robbery and assault. To tackle this growing need, several local organisations, homeless specialists and corporate philanthropists joined forces to help people turn their lives around by developing the new shelter.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham, Father Hudson’s Care, Housing Justice, Irish in Birmingham, St Vincent de Paul Society, local philanthropists and business people, the Birmingham Rough Sleepers Team (Midland Heart) and local homelessness specialists have worked together to bring the project to fruition.

Initially Tabor House will offer six beds for a six-month trial period, before expanding to 15 beds for people over the age of 18 that are referred by local organisations. With the support of staff and volunteers, rough sleepers will be helped to take steps to turn their lives around.

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