Bury Salvation Army opens doors to rough sleepers

published on 19 Feb 2021

The Salvation Army church in Bury, Greater Manchester, has opened its doors to house rough sleepers as temperatures drop.

The emergency shelter has been set up with Adullam Homes Housing Association and Bury Council as part of the Severe Weather Emergency Provision (SWEP), which provides a bed for those sleeping on the streets when temperatures drop below zero.

The Brookshaw Street church has two rooms with camp beds for eight people in total – ensuring it is Covid safe.

Bury Salvation Army
The church hall is being used to house rough sleepers on cold nights

Corps officer Lieutenant Hannah Borrett said: “When we were approached about providing the space, I said we would love to help.

“It’s helping solve an immediate problem in giving rough sleepers a warm bed for the night during harsh weather, and is also supporting Adullam Homes who do some amazing work to help transform the lives of homeless people - whether that’s helping them become self-sufficient or tackling addiction. I really liked the ethos of it.

“We are part of overflow provision, which was needed most nights in January due to the bad weather. We provide the space from 8.30pm to 7am, which is staffed by Adullam.

“As a church and charity, The Salvation Army want to help make sure no one spends a night on the street over winter. That is when people are at most risk of dying due to harsh weather conditions. Providing safe and warm shelter for the most vulnerable people is at the core of what we do.”

When we were approached about providing the space, I said we would love to help.
Corps officer Lieutenant Hannah Borrett

The service is expected to run until March.

Jenny Morgan, Adullam’s regional manager for the north west and Wales, said the emphasis is on saving life in cold temperatures where no other provision can be sourced.

She said: “Preferably people would be in supported accommodation or using the Greater Manchester Combined Authority ABEN (A Bed Every Night) initiative if there is space. SWEP is a last resort for people to keep them safe and preserve life.

“Adullam is proud to partner with the Salvation Army to provide what may literally be a life-saving service.”

Councillor Clare Cummins, cabinet member for housing services at Bury Council, said: “This is a fantastic collaboration and I’d like to say a big ‘thank you’ for this to the Salvation Army. This complements our commitment to 'A Bed Every Night', outreach work and supported housing to continue helping the most vulnerable people in our community.”

A woman wrapped up in a sleeping bag on a city street

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