The Quaker Christmas Shelter is held annually at Union Chapel, Higbury Corner, Islington, London, from 23rd to 30th December. Union Chapel is a Congregational Church that works with Homeless People in Islington year-round through their Margins Project. We use the Margins Project space for our shelter.
We are able to offer 25 beds each night, with 5 'reserved' for women, if needed. Clients can be referred by agencies or self-refer. Referral Agencies should provide the person's NI Number and Chain Number, if available, along with the first and last name. Clients must check in by 8:30pm to claim their bed for the night.
The Referrals Telephone Line will open on 22nd December. Call 07833-123155 to make a Referral or to Self-Refer.
Quaker Christmas Shelter offers Breakfast to 'all comers', whether homeless or impoverished, from 8am to 10am each day from 24th to 30th December. A packed lunch is available to take away, as well.
In the evening during the Quaker Christmas Shelter, we offer a 'home cooked' dinner for up to 75 'all comers' per night. We will also have some Christmas themed entertainment and up to 30 services (e.g. a doctor and/or nurse on site, a hairdresser, an optometrist, etc.). Perhaps most important, we will also have the Pilion Trust on site to provide professional drug/alcohol/mental health counselling and outreach work.
Every year, we try to get some of our rough sleepers into a Detox programme through the direct intervention of the Quaker Christmas Shelter volunteers and also the professional Drug and Alcohol Outreach Workers. Currently, we work with the Pilion Trust and other agencies to continue to try to give people opportunities to tackle their drug and alcohol dependencies. At the end of each shelter, we also help each guest who wishes to have a 'move on' plan from our shelter, such as to another shelter, to a hostel, or returning to their home.
We rely on nearly 100 volunteers each year to make the Quaker Christmas shelter a success.