Homelessness charity to close

Tuesday 27th September 2022 9:24 am
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A homelessness charity in the Isle of Man will be closing its overnight shelter and ceasing its operations following an assessment of the sustainability of the service.

Graih has been running since 2008 and offered services including drop-ins, emergency night shelter and pastoral support to ‘homeless people and those in insecure or unsuitable accommodation’.

The night shelter will close for the last time on Friday, September 30, with Broadway Baptist Church taking on the running of the lunchtime drop-in sessions and community support work.

Chair of Graih John Bingham said: ‘The shelter has provided a vital service to the island every night since it opened at the beginning of 2019. The facility requires two members of staff to be on duty at all times from 9pm to 7.30am to help people who may walk in off the street as they have nowhere else to go. Our manager has done sterling work over the years leading this service.

‘Unfortunately, it has become increasingly difficult to maintain staffing levels. It is clear now that the situation is no longer sustainable, so it is with deep regret that Graih has taken the very difficult decision to close the night shelter from September 30.’

Since it was founded, Graih says it has delivered more than 55,000 meals to those in need and provided at least 3,000 overnight beds.

Mr Bingham continued: ‘As a charity we have always believed in treating people with kindness, compassion and dignity.

‘Homelessness is a real issue in the island and we have supported hundreds of people by offering them hot food, a bed for the night, a listening ear and practical advice.

‘Graih has been blessed with many excellent staff and volunteers over the years and is grateful for the assistance received from government, other charities and members of the public.

‘We are grateful to Broadway Baptist Church for the use of its facilities and thankful that it has agreed to provide continuity of service for our remaining drop-in and community activities.’

Now the drop-in will be open from 10.30am to 2pm, providing a lunchtime-only service offering food, hot drinks, clothing, shower facilities and a safe, social place during most of the week for the foreseeable future.

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