The service offered to vulnerable, homeless people by C4WS has been excellent as always. The staff have effectively supported their residents to address the barriers which have prevented them accessing alternative accommodation. The project has therefore served as a successful pathway to help people move from the street to secure accommodation.
The relationship between CHIP and C4WS has also been tremendous and hopefully mutually beneficial where we have collaborated to support clients to access benefits and accommodation. I believe this positive working relationship has enabled clients to receive a realistic but supportive assessment of the services and assistance available to them. The C4WS staff has been enthusiastic, knowledgeable and motivated to obtain the best possible outcome for their clients and it has been a pleasure to work with them and their guests.
Once again, C4WS has demonstrated the need for emergency accommodation for rough sleepers in the Camden borough. It is relief when the service opens as it means clients who request help with their housing crisis might have the possibility of a roof over their head that night. Conversely, it is disappointing when it closes as the route to immediate shelter whilst options are explored is removed. It is unfortunate that vulnerable people who fall through the gaps of regular provision, for example those sleeping on night buses or sofa surfing, are left without an emergency option in the absence of C4WS.
I very much look forward to working with the team next year. Thanks for all your help.
Rachel Francis Health & Housing Access Worker – Camden Health Improvement Practice work with C4WS
Two Step has continued to build, and benefit from a very positive partnership with C4WS. Though the capacity was slightly limited compared to previous years, Jamie and Amanda achieved an amazing amount and have provided an invaluable resource for people at a very low ebb. This year was the most vicious winter in London for thirty years. For all the volunteers and contributors who left the comfort and safety of their homes to provide for those who couldn’t, we would like to send a heartfelt thank you.
This year has been another one where people have not only been offered shelter from the elements, but also humanity where they had been confronted with rejection and disappointment. A warm welcome, meal and the social contact provided by the shelters has a huge transformational effect on the guests who visibly change after a couple of nights. On top of this, the fact that they get advice and signposting around benefits, health and housing mean that the shelter becomes a turning point in their lives as opposed to a spell of respite from the elements.
From our own perspective, it is the essential transition between a guest having nothing, to getting benefits and ID in place, which then enables us to move them on to permanent accommodation and get mentoring and support in place – which will give them the way back to independence.
Tommy Cloherty – Hope World Wide
The Cold Weather Shelter not only provided accommodation for the most vulnerable through the freezing cold at winter time, it also provided an holistic service to the young people we worked with at New Horizon Youth Centre (NHYC).
Once the young person was placed in the shelters care we knew that they would be seen as an individual with specific needs and different abilities. That’s why it was always a pleasure to work with the team especially Amanda and Jamie. The client could expect all of their issues to be assessed and worked on and that their housing situation was not seen in isolation. The lines of communication were always open and clear and the client always came first. If needed the team would even come to NHYC and engage in meetings with us and the young person.
We had client’s that were resettled into new accommodation who the team helped furnish the accommodation with various items such as a TV, we had clients who had no recourse to funds and who the they patiently worked with even when English was not their first language and we even had a client who ended up in hospital who the team visited.
The team was compassionate and fair at all times and in this age where finding accommodation for the young and vulnerable has become an almost impossible task for referral agents it has been like an oasis in the dessert. They were the only emergency accommodation in the borough and without them many young people would have suffered the cold and wet over the Christmas and winter period, it’s a pity they are not open all year round.
Well done to Jamie, Amanda and all the volunteers for a fantastic project and thanks from NHYC staff.
Dean Harris, Advice, Resettlement and Outreach Manager, NHYC
C4WS is a church based ‘rolling shelter’ that provides emergency accommodation to street homeless, those at immediate risk of rough sleeping locally and ‘hidden homeless’.The project runs between 1 December and 31 March every year and has a capacity of 14 beds.
C4WS is a collection of different congregations from various denominations with the same heart. To reach out to the homeless of Camden and provide warmth, food, security and hope. We have a set venue for each night of the week which is manned by 20-30 volunteers per night. Through the partnerships of local churches the project has a unique ability to meet the practical needs of homeless individuals in Camden and the surrounding area without discrimination or favour.