Homeless shelter building pods to help people during pandemic
PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:23 09 July 2020
A shelter for rough sleepers in Weston is hoping to be one of the first in the country to open by building pods for the homeless.
Somewhere To Go Day and Night is installing 18 pods at the centre, in the Boulevard, to protect people sleeping rough during the pandemic.
Staff are now appealing for donations to raise £50,000 for the pods which will enable the shelter to be more resilient to coronavirus in future.
Richard Nightingale, chairman of Somewhere To Go Day and Night, said: “Sadly, all night shelters across the country are currently closed.
“Covid-19 has had huge impact on all our lives, including some of the most vulnerable members of our society.
“Somewhere To Go is determined to continue offering its services to all who need it as soon as possible and have been working with Public Health England to make this happen.
“As part of our efforts to limit the spread of the virus we are upgrading our accommodation and we need your help.
“Our planned modular pod sleeping units will be some of the most advanced in the country and will be a big step forward in our battle against Covid-19.
“Building work is underway but we need your help and support to continue our community work and allow us to be one of the first shelters in the country to reopen.”
In March, councils were told to move homeless people off the streets and out of communal shelters as the lockdown began.
There are currently 28 homeless people in B&Bs in North Somerset, but Somewhere To Go is keen to reopen as soon as possible so they can access the support they need to rebuild their lives.
Mr Nightingale said: “The idea is to make the centre resilient for the future.
“We want to make sure we never have to close again because it was an awful decision to make.
“There will also be four separate cubicles with toilets and showers.
“We can also isolate people and still function.
“It’s quite a big investment but we want to be able to open as soon as we can.
“Money for the building work has come from our reserves.
“The pods should make us one of the first to open, which is very exciting.”
To donate towards the pods, click here.
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