By Mikael Damkier

We’re being asked to volunteer and help people sleeping rough on the Isle of Wight this winter.

The help of individuals, groups or businesses is needed to help to make sure people don’t need to sleep on our Island streets.

The Salvation Army IOW Homeless Service is working with the Isle of Wight Council and is opening its doors to anyone homeless between now and the end of March 2018.

Cabinet member for planning and housing, Councillor Barry Abraham says it’s only possible with a combined effort:

“To make sure we can provide this lifeline for those in need, we need your support. The more people or businesses that are helping us, the better prepared we are to provide sanctuary and support to those people facing the prospect of a cold and lonely winter.”

Service Manager for The Salvation Army Homeless Services on the Isle of Wight, Jamie Brenchley says they need all the support they can get:

“We have already established a wonderful team of volunteers, but we need more. Homelessness is devastating; people die on the streets every year.

Come alongside us to see the person not the label; together as one community we can help broken people rebuild their lives.”

The Salvation Army already runs a street outreach intervention service that delivers personalised support packages to people experiencing homelessness on the Isle of Wight throughout the year.

The specialised team helps rough sleepers find whatever help is needed, including access to addiction support or mental health and wellbeing services. They also help with emergency accommodation provision.

The new winter night shelter will let The Salvation Army provide hot food and a warm bed for the night 7 days a week during the coldest months.

Anyone interested in volunteering to help can email the Salvation Army Street Outreach Intervention Coordinator, Lucy Rhoden via [email protected] or contact the team through Facebook.