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Volunteers needed to safeguard Tabor House

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Tabor House, Birmingham’s new night shelter, is calling for volunteers who can spare some time to help homeless men and women in the city. 

We particularly need people who can cover night shifts, but would stress that volunteers will be able to get some sleep during the night.

Tabor House is due to open its doors on 28 September, becoming Birmingham’s only permanent night shelter. As well as offering shelter and food, it will actively support the people staying there to access the help they need to get off the streets and into more permanent accommodation.

The Deritend shelter will be reliant on kind-hearted volunteers who give some of their time to deliver this much needed support. Ninety people from across the city have already signed up to volunteer at Tabor House. Some will be trained to mentor guests, helping them take back control of their lives. Others will offer hospitality by helping prepare food and drinks, making beds, and keeping the place clean and tidy.

Despite the excellent number of people already involved, we need ten to fifteen additional people to come forward. If we can’t recruit enough volunteers, Tabor House will be unable to open as planned. The additional volunteers are needed to cover night and morning shifts, providing hospitality to guests.

Father Hudson's Deputy Community Projects Manager, Christy Acton, said, “We’re nearly there. We’re just looking for a few more people and we’ll be ready to go. If you think you can help, contact me on 01675 434064 or email christyacton@fatherhudsons.org.uk.”

/media/news/library/opening-bedroom-door.jpgTabor House has been developed in response to a significant increase in the number of people sleeping rough in Birmingham. At present, there is no permanent night shelter in the city, meaning people with nowhere to go end up sleeping on the street, in a doorway or a carpark. There they are vulnerable not only to the elements, but to robbery and assault. To tackle this growing need, several local organisations, homeless specialists and corporate philanthropists joined forces to help people turn their lives around by developing the new shelter.

Initially Tabor House will offer six beds for a six-month trial period, before expanding to 15 beds for people over the age of 18 that are referred by local organisations. With the support of staff and volunteers, rough sleepers will be helped to take steps to turn their lives around.

Tabor House is part funded by a grant from the National Lottery, which will help it get ready to welcome its first guests in September. The funding will ensure the kitchen is well equipped and enable the project to buy an oven that will feed guests. It will also enable the project to provide a hot evening meal and breakfast to its beneficiaries for the first year. Providing a healthy, hot meal and nutritious breakfast is one of the key elements of support to those without the basic necessities of life. In a bid to add to the funds, supporters have organised a sponsored walk and cycle in Cannock Chase on 1 October 2017.

Tabor House is a collaborative project between the Birmingham Rough Sleepers Team (Midland Heart), Father Hudson’s Care, Housing Justice, Irish in Birmingham, St Vincent de Paul Society, the Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham, local philanthropists and business people, and local homelessness specialists. Together they have formed iShelter—a new homelessness organisation that aims to help homeless people turn their lives around.

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