Bangor Cathedral and the North Wales Housing, working together as the Cathedral Partnership, have launched a new initiative to try and give homeless people a hand, possibly helping them into more permanent accommodation.
The Bangor Cathedral and North Wales Housing’s Outreach and Resettlement Team have been working together as the Cathedral Partnership to support homeless people in the Bangor area for over 10 years. This new project is a sign that the Cathedral is going from strength to strength.
North Wales Housing have a Homelessness Service that can help homeless, or individuals threatened with homelessness. These include two homeless hostels in Bangor, St Mary’s and Pendinas as well as an Outreach and Resettlement Team based in Bangor who are on hand to provide housing advice and support finding and maintaining accommodation.
The new initiative means that North Wales Housing Officers are able to offer up to 3 night’s accommodation to people who are sleeping rough, especially after wet and windy weather, knowing that designated funds from Bangor Cathedral can cover the accommodation costs. Bangor Cathedral and North Wales Housing have worked together on a similar scheme offering meal vouchers to homeless people, which has been running for 10 years. This scheme now gives over 70 meal vouchers every month.
The Rev’d Canon Randolph Ellis is Bangor Cathedral’s High Street Chaplain. He said, “I’m delighted that the Cathedral Partnership can now offer this new initiative. I hope and pray that this brief period of respite for homeless persons will be a starting point to help them get away from considering the street as their home. I’m so grateful to the benefactors of the special funds here at Bangor Cathedral. Every pound of their generosity gives homeless people some respite, as well as helping them to start their journey to some accommodation.”
Dale Rose, who is an Outreach and Resettlement Officer for North Wales Housing said, “When you look at the numbers of people sleeping on friends’ sofas, those in hostel accommodation as well as the people who sleep rough, we are looking at up to 300 people for whom housing is vulnerable in Gwynedd. This new initiative will give us the chance to give people a few nights’ stability, which in turn gives us time to help them sort some things out, such as filling in housing forms, for example.”
His colleague, Aled Bebb, Resettlement Support Worker, added, “In our work, we refer to the ‘hidden homeless’, because in Bangor we don’t tend to see people sleeping on the streets of the City, as they tend to be individuals, and they feel safer outside the City. The vast majority of these people have been dealt a bad hand by society and have sunk to despair. Thanks to our work with Bangor Cathedral, we can offer them some food and warmth for a few nights, which will hopefully be the start of something better”.
The Dean of Bangor, the Very Rev’d Kathy Jones, said, “Social action is an important and valuable part of Christian witness. In this day and age, none of us should be prepared to accept that people in our area believe that they have no choice but to sleep rough. I’m thrilled that Bangor Cathedral has been able to develop its work with North Wales Housing to support some of the most vulnerable people in our community.”