Newquay Church Opens Up for Homeless

BBC Video report here

A Cornish priest has opened the doors of his church to allow homeless people to sleep in it overnight because he says there is nowhere else for them to go during the cold weather.

The Reverend Chris McQuillen-Wright, vicar of St Columb Minor Church, near Newquay, made the decision following the deaths of nine rough sleepers on the resort's streets in 2011.

Twenty one people have used the shelter since it opened in November.
Mr McQuillen-Wright said the resort needed to help those with drug, alcohol and mental health issues.

He said: "They are the people who do not knock on our door.

"We need to be getting out there assessing their needs and getting them on the next step."If we had a professional worker in place we could break the long-term cycle for many people. "Just having a building open is not going to help."

Mr McQuillen-Wright, vice-chairman of homelessness charity the St Petroc's Society, said the church shelter "shows how desperate some people are".
He said there were about 120 people rough sleeping in Cornwall and the number was increasing.
"It is not the most comfortable places to come, but no-one will die of hypothermia.
"It's not ideal by any means, but we can provide four or five days for a foundation where they can get an interview for something more permanent such as hostel accommodation."

Why is there nowhere else for these people to stay ?- 
We call ourselves a civilised developed country- I'm ashamed.

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