Our vision is that no one needs to sleep rough in Waltham Forest and everyone has a place to go

Our core purpose is about saving and transforming the lives of the homeless in our borough. We do this in a number of ways:

Winter night shelter

We primarily work in collaboration with local churches in Waltham Forest who are motivated by a common concern for the plight of the homeless in the borough to provide a Winter Night Shelter.

The project provides a rolling night shelter with up to 30 bed spaces every night from 1 November to 31 March – guests sleep at a different church venue each night. More than 250 volunteers cook, serve and sit with our homeless guests who come to us for accommodation, food and friendly company. When temperatures drop below freezing, we take in all that come to us, as long as it is safe to do so. We believe in providing a high quality and compassionate service to our homeless guests many of whom have a range of support needs, such as alcohol dependency and mental health issues.

In a typical season we will accommodate around 100-150 guests over the winter period.

Casework

Our Caseworker works with guests and those homeless in Waltham Forest to try and help with their immediate needs.

This can be anything from registering with the doctor, helping with paperwork, source further support and, working in collaboration with St Mungos and other Agencies to try and re-house those who are homeless in Waltham Forest.

History

In September 2009 the only hostel in the borough which provided a service for rough sleepers closed for a yearlong refurbishment programme. As a result this left a gap in the provision of services for these individuals. Churches in Waltham Forest mobilised to fill that gap.  We opened for just 3 months. That winter, the coldest on record, saw 130 people using the shelter. In 2011 we registered as a Charity under the name Forest Churches Emergency Night Shelter.