Following on from Hendon Reform Synagogue's success at running a Night Shelter for the homeless of Barnet, we held an information evening on 5th of June to discuss the possibility of running a Night Shelter at EHRS.
The evening was well attended with representatives of the charities Together In Barnet (TiB), Homeless Action in Barnet (HAB) and social enterprise Linkey present along with people from the EHRS community who want to volunteer.
The ask from our community is to provide a hot evening meal, shelter for the night and breakfast in the morning for up to 17 homeless people who have a connection with Barnet.
Our homeless guests attend HAB's Day Centre where they have a case worker who supports them in efforts to get housing and employment. HAB will carefully vet our homeless guests to ensure they do not have any issues that could affect our volunteers (no addictions etc). HAB will send us a list of guests we can expect each night.
So far 40 EHRS members have expressed an interest in volunteering to help make the Night Shelter a reality at EHRS and we are looking for more of you to join us.
There are many different things that we need from volunteers:-
- prepare a single course of an evening meal off site
- prepare the space for our guests to arrive
- welcome our guests and serve the evening meal
- sleep overnight
- prepare and serve breakfast
- clean up after our guests leave
- drive the bedding for our guests to the next venue
All volunteers will receive training before attending the Night Shelter with any guests present. The training session will be held late September/early October. Volunteers who are present with our guests must be 18 or over. There is no age restriction on volunteers who help at times when our guests are not present or at any off site activities.
We are likely to run the Night Shelter on the same night each week for the 10 week cycle of 17/12/18 - 24/02/19, excluding 23 - 28 December. Note that volunteers do not have to commit to helping every week during that period but can sign up for as many or as few dates as they like over the 10 week cycle, and that you can choose what dates suit you in that cycle.
The Christmas Shelter will be held at Finchley Reform Synagogue 23 - 28 December, as it has done for the last few years and volunteers for that event are also always welcomed.
Please do remember that there are 2 baskets at the entrance to the Woolstone Gallery to collect your donations of toiletries, warm clothing and non-perishable foodstuffs. These are taken to Homeless Action in Barnet to donate to homeless people that use the HAB Day Centre and to provide them with a hot lunch. The food can also be used by the Night Shelters during the winter months of September to May when it operates.
Lisa Bard & Audrey Zarach
Together In Barnet's (TIB) aim is to tackle homelessness in the London Borough of Barnet. TIB works closely with Homeless Action in Barnet (HAB) and their Day Centre to provide for the needs of the most vulnerable in the Barnet community.
Together In Barnet - https://www.togetherinbarnet.org/ and Homeless Action in Barnet https://www.habcentre.org/