As the snow recedes, it is business as usual for Norwich but the issue of homelessness won’t melt away with the snow.
Extra bed spaces were provided during the cold weather, co-ordinated by Norwich City Council, which included additional space at St Martins’ hostel Bishopbridge House as well as accommodation at St Peter Mancroft Church and other locations in the city. The Severe Weather Emergency Protocol was activated after a temperature of zero degrees Celsius or lower was forecast for at least three consecutive nights.
During the cold snap, we saw increased cash donations through our website, which will be used to provide long-term assistance for people so they can live independently.
Chief Executive Dr Jan Sheldon said, “It is heart-warming to see the response of local people to care for those who are vulnerable in our community. The provision of the extra beds was absolutely vital but we know that the solution to homelessness is not just about shelter. We work hard to provide each person with the support they need to help them back on track – this might include addressing issues with their mental health, addictions, financial or work situation.”
St Martins have been working with homeless people in Norwich for over forty years and link closely with other organisations to provide long-term support for people in a co-ordinated way.
Jan said, “The road to independence and recovery for rough sleepers can be a long one. The solution is not quick or easy, but we are we are determined to support each person for however long it takes.”
Picture from EDP: Norwich in the snow