Churches across Caerphilly County Borough will be opening their doors to the homeless to provide shelter as part of a council-backed scheme.
Caerphilly County Borough Council has been working with local churches over the last two months to set the pilot to support rough sleepers across Caerphilly county borough.
Three churches have volunteered their places of worship to offer shelter for people to stay for the night.
Rough sleepers that the council currently is unable to assist are frequently sent to homeless hostels outside of the area.
Called ‘Caerphilly Churches Night Shelter’, the scheme was launched last week.
Cllr Gerald Jones, deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for housing, said: “The Caerphilly Churches Night Shelter scheme shows how local churches, local community and the council are working together to provide care and support to those in need.”
The aim of the pilot scheme is to provide night shelter for rough sleepers through the winter months. Commitment has been sought from three key churches which will each host one night’s shelter a week on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday until March 15 2013.
Elim Baptist Church (Pontllanfraith), Libanus Church (Blackwood) and Argoed Baptist Church are the three churches involved in the scheme, and their doors will open at 7.30pm on their designated day. Each church will be able to offer hot meals and a bed for the night for up to six rough sleepers.
Rough sleepers must be referred and cannot arrive unannounced. Referrals must be received by 4pm each afternoon to the Housing Advice Centre.
The long-term aim of the project, says the council, is to have at least seven churches offering a night shelter service across the county borough, to cover each day of the week during the winter months for 2013/14.
The Welsh Government has provided funding to buy mattresses, sleeping bags, food and pay for church insurance premiums.
The project is intended to be funded in the future through churches, volunteers and donations.
For more information or to refer a homeless applicant please call David Francis on 01443 873549, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Housing Advice Centre on 01443 873552.
If you would like to volunteer at one of the churches, please contact Sue Phillips, Church Coordinator on 07817 238608.