There was a bittersweet mix of emotions when we found out that our Bradford Day Shelter had won a Community Impact Award, a few days after we were told we had lost the funding for the project.
Sue Atkinson is Services Director at Horton Housing Association
7 November 2016
The news came just a few days after we had been told that we had lost the funding for the project and it would be moving to another provider at the end of November.
We wondered whether we should be celebrating at all during this time of transition, but winning the award seemed a fitting swansong for a project which has been helping homeless people in Bradford for the past 40 years.
It was also testimony to the hard work and dedication of our team of staff and volunteers who provide this award-winning service.
Bradford Day Shelter provides a wide range of support services for people who are homeless or living in poor quality or unsuitable housing in the Bradford district. Around 120 people access the service every day and it is open seven days a week, including Christmas Day.
Working with a number of partner organisations, the Day Shelter provides an open access and referral point to a wide range of services, including help with housing, healthcare, welfare benefits, drug and alcohol issues, mental health support and access to food, laundry, clothing and bathing facilities.
The welcoming atmosphere means that people may only come in for a bite to eat or somewhere to shelter from the bad weather but once inside we can help them to identify longer term solutions to their problems and refer them to agencies that can help them achieve greater independence and wellbeing.
People like Scott who was facing homelessness. The Day Shelter not only helped him get somewhere permanent to live but also to access training to help him work in construction. Geoff, who is an alcoholic, says he doesn’t think he will work again, but is now maintaining a roof over his head and Louise, who was a prolific offender, has found stability through accessing the Day Shelter.
We’re sad to see the Day Shelter close. It’s been an important part of Horton Housing’s history but we will continue our work with homeless and vulnerable people in Bradford through a number of other projects.
And as we say farewell to the service, we will also be celebrating everything it has achieved in the past 40 years, none of which could have been possible without our dedicated staff, partners and volunteers (including those who have donated money, food and clothing over the years).