A Salford shelter is providing support for homeless people, despite the Covid-19 pandemic forcing its dormitories to close.
The Narrowgate Support Hub’s 30-room dormitory on Churchill Way was a safe haven for many but the centre is doing its utmost to support those in need as a day-time operation instead.
Nick, who works at the Narrowgate Support Hub, said: “Last March we had to close the shelter for homeless people. Because we have a dormitory for sleeping arrangements, the government decided that was unsafe with regards to the Covid situation, so they closed all the shelters down.
“So at the moment we’ve re-opened but only as a daytime operation. We’re offering practical help like showers, food parcel referrals and a phone line. Social support to combat people who are feeling isolated.”
There are more than 1,000 homeless people across the city, meaning that places such as Narrowgate, and many other shelters are a lifeline for people across Salford.
There have been many council initiatives to combat homelessness, such as A Bed for Every Night, which aims to provide a bed for those with no other accommodation.
Nick believes this initiative, and the efforts of Salford Council as a whole were effective prior to the pandemic. However, regional and national lockdowns have only served to exacerbate the issue.
He said: “Salford council have been working very hard to try to get people sorted under the A Bed for Every Night Scheme, and then move on to more permanent accommodation. But they too are struggling.
“It’s a very difficult situation for the clients and Salford council staff. We’re here to offer what support we can through the day. We signpost people to the council, and to other services. We also help where we can in practical ways.
“The situation is that people have to be put into multiple occupancy houses which is not ideal but it’s better than being on the streets.”
People can also donate to the shelter, with winter quickly approaching, the need for hats, gloves and other winter wear is on the increase.
Nick said: “We’re always looking for new clean underwear, not laundered, for ladies and gents. Socks, gloves, hats, winter coats and things like that. Those are the kind of things we’re looking for.”
The shelter also aims to expand its operations and scope of help during the pandemic by opening a community shop that, for a nominal fee, will allow those in need to access food and other necessities.
The Narrowgate Support hub is located at: Windsor Christian Centre, Churchill Way, Salford, M6 5BU. For more information, call 0161 736 7959, or visit here.