Update on Route 18

From December to April, supported by a coordinator, partner venues provide shelter in their buildings one night a week giving guests somewhere warm to stay, an evening meal and the company and camaraderie of faith based volunteers. The Christian ethos of friendship, equality and human dignity is vital to the way the project feels and works. We do not make distinctions between guests and volunteers; we meet as friends. Those who use the shelter are honoured guests, not recipients of charity. During the day guests attend CHC (Cricklewood Homeless Concern) for help with long term housing and employment needs and support for the specific problems that led to them being homeless in the first place. Here also they can receive lunch, showers and clean clothes. Thus Route 18 provides a 24/7 service during the winter months and a route back to settled independent living.

 

ROUTE 18 - the first six years

The Vision
No one need sleep on the streets in Brent in winter.
Each guest moves towards a safe sustainable life with accommodation and employment

Background to Route 18

Route 18 Winter Shelter started in 2008 after Anglican clergy in South Brent shared their experience of a growing number of homeless people arriving at vicarage doors with Cricklewood Homeless Concern (CHC), Brent’s only day resource for homeless and vulnerable people.  With the desire to ensure that no one has to sleep on the streets during the cold winter months and to help in a long lasting and constructive way. The project operated with the help of local faith communities across the whole borough. It is named after the number 18 bus route because all seven original churches happened to be along that route.

Night Shelter from October 2014

The organisers have become increasingly aware that despite tremendous dedication to provide this service for the last six years it has sometimes been a strain on venues and on clients moving around every night from one venue to the next. That is why this year after much deliberation and discussion it was decided to base the centre at Ashford Place, in two of their very large underused group rooms. At night, clients will sleep there and during the day, they will have immediate access to all support services hopefully making their experience of homelessness as brief and as painless as possible. It will allow the organisers to ensure that nobody in the Brent borough needs to spend more than 24 hours on the street, and more importantly ensure that nobody returns to the street. To make this project have continued success, a minimum of 35 volunteers will still be required who can give just one shift a week at Ashford Place, supporting staff and clients.

If you are interested in being a volunteer
please contact John on 07779 262 217