Monday 5 December saw the return of the Merton Winter Night Shelter for the first time since 2020. By Wednesday 7th, all eleven places had been taken up by local homeless people.

2022 saw the Merton Winter Night Shelter come under the umbrella of the Merton Homelessness Project run by Faith in Action, having in previous years been managed by the Wimbledon YMCA. A small volunteer management team has worked tirelessly to raise funds, recruit a full-time paid Shelter Coordinator, and harness the considerable army of 14 faith venues across Merton and their incredible volunteers – all absolutely vital to ensure that the Night Shelter can run every night until mid-March.

Not only does the Shelter provide a warm, dry place to sleep every night during the coldest nights of the year, it’s a proven way of helping homeless people to move on into secure accommodation and employment.

Not only do Shelter guests have somewhere to sleep each night, they receive a cooked evening meal and breakfast, plus good company and fellowship. Crucially, the Shelter also provides ongoing advice and support from professional Night Shelter and Merton Homelessness Project staff, as well as access to local third party agencies such as medical and alcohol dependency services and DWP benefits advice.

The Merton Winter Night Shelter really changes the lives of people facing insecurity and potential vulnerability. Faith in Action Merton Homelessness Project is proud to have joined forces with the Shelter, and looks forward to a long and fruitful partnership.