Nov 1 2012 by Ian Proctor, Harrow Observer
VOLUNTEERS behind a successful homeless shelter hope to run for it for a third consecutive year.
Firm Foundation has operated the men-only night time shelter at Welldon Centre in Welldon Crescent, Harrow, for the past two winters.
It provides a dormitory bed, food, washing and laundry facilities, clothing, toiletries, Oyster cards and advice seven days a week, for up to 10 referees at a time who do not have a roof over their head.
The charity, organised as a cooperative of eight Harrow churches and based in Brigade Close, South Harrow, has applied to Harrow Council for temporary planning permission to hold the project for a third year, although for longer – from December 17 until March 27 2013 – than either of the two previous seasons.
Project coordinator Michael Scott said: “We’re looking to see if we can run it during the month of December.
“We’re still in the process of making the decision and it will be based on the availability of volunteers and necessity by the guests because there are things like Crisis in London going on at the same time as well, which is a much bigger event, and we don’t want to put on something that isn’t going to be used.”
Mr Scott said the shelter is always dependent on the weather as when it is unbearable, more people on the streets seek help.
Firm Foundation’s report on its 2012 activities says it welcomed 22 guests, 17 of whom had a local connection and five who were referred by the homeless team at Heathrow Airport in west London.
During the 12 weeks, the more than 90 church volunteers served up more than 1,000 meals and were able to find 10 visitors longer-term accommodation. The guests originated from counties as diverse as Algeria, Cyprus, England, Ireland, India, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Sudan and Somalia.
Although women cannot stay at the shelter, Firm Foundation, which sources funding from churches and other bodies tackling homelessness, said it will help them as much as it can.