The Forest Churches Emergency Night Shelter is a collaboration between seven local churches, including St Mary’s, which gives people who are homeless in Waltham Forest a safe place to sleep throughout the winter. It operates as a separate charity with an employed Shelter Coordinator.
In the past, each church has donated its church building or church hall as a place for guests to sleep one night per week for five months over the winter (November through March), with churches providing volunteers, food and bedding, as well as place to wash up. The Night Shelter has also provided caseworker support to help guests with long-term needs, including housing.
However, since COVID-19, the Night Shelter has helped guests find accommodation in local hotels while still providing additional support, such as meals. Find the latest information for Winter 2021-2022 here.
The Night Shelter is non-judgemental and welcomes guests and volunteers of all backgrounds; we started the Night Shelter because we are Christians and are called to help those who are in need, but we partner with all people of goodwill. If you see someone sleeping rough during the winter months, they can get in touch with the Night Shelter Coordinator by calling 07739 870 411, Monday to Friday, before 3pm.
The Night Shelter also takes referrals from St Mungo’s Hub at the Forest YMCA, Marsham Court, 640 Forest Road, Walthamstow, E17 3DZ (Open Monday to Friday, 10am-4pm) and from Waltham Forest Housing Services, Cedar Wood House, 2D Fulbourne Road, Walthamstow, E17 4GG.
If you see someone sleeping rough, you can also contact StreetLink any time of the year at 0300 500 0914. To volunteer with the Night Shelter, visit this link.