Shelter for homeless open during current heatwave

The Salvation Army’s Isle of Wight Corps (church) has opened its doors to allow rough sleepers on the Isle of Wight to seek shelter from the heat. 

Due to the extreme temperatures that are predicted on the Island in the coming 24 hours, the Isle of Wight Council has worked in partnership with the church and charity’s homeless unit to provide a 24 hour emergency shelter to ensure all people that are homeless have a safe place to stay with access to food and water.

The Salvation Army church hall in Pyle Street, Newport, opened until 11pm on Wednesday and has reopened today at 8am for people who want to escape the extreme temperatures.

A spokesperson for the church and charity, The Salvation Army said: “The Salvation Army understands that homelessness affects people all year round and we are very glad to be working in partnership with the Isle of Wight Council to meet the needs of local people who are homeless during this very hot weather by opening up our hall on Pyle Street for 24 hours to offer them somewhere to shelter from the heat.”

The Salvation Army already operates a street outreach intervention service that delivers personalised support packages to people experiencing homelessness on the Isle of Wight throughout the year.

The specialised team helps rough sleepers find whatever help is appropriate for their needs – including access to addiction support or mental health and wellbeing services – and links to other emergency accommodation provision.

Jamie Brenchley, the council’s service manager for housing needs and homelessness, said: “The provision of a shelter during severe weather is a vital tool which helps reduce the risks posed to people that find themselves with no place to call home.

“We know risks posed on the streets are exacerbated by extreme temperatures, which is not limited to the effects of cold — severe weather conditions such as high wind, heavy rain, snow and heatwaves all increase the risk of harm.”