Edinburgh based homeless trust announces return of inventive campaign

AN EDINBURGH based homeless trust has announced the return of an inventive campaign which was pioneered by the pandemic.

After creating The Welcome Centre in an emergency response to COVID-19, the Bethany Christian Trust provided the homeless with en-suite accommodation.

 In a deliberate step away from congregate shelter provision, the trust has announced that the Welcome Centre will again offer care to homeless people this winter. 

The Bethany Christian Trust’s Welcome Centre is providing en-suite accommodation for rough sleepers in Edinburgh.

The facility will continue to provide three meals a day and 24 hour sustain from its base in the Haymarket center Hotel until May 2 next year.

Hot evening meals are prepared by volunteers whilst specialized sets visit to provide assistance in finding long term accommodation.

There is onsite sustain for mental health, addiction, wellbeing, health needs and accessing benefits.

The Welcome Centre was established in partnership with the Council and with sustain from the Scottish Government, run by a large team of staff, plus over 1,000 volunteers and 20 visiting partner sets.

Cameron Black, Director of Crisis Intervention at the Bethany Christian Trust said: “People need genuine sustain when they are having the worst day of their lives and that is what they find at the Welcome Centre.

“The staff are there for people 24 hours a day to offer specialized and real care. We are so grateful to the Edinburgh Collection Hotel’s accommodation and our partner agencies who do the additional mile to bring their skill to where people are.

“All of the sustain from volunteers from the local churches and all who help fund this inventive project saves lives. We just couldn’t do it without you!”

From left to right: Councillor Campbell, Bethany Christian Trust’s Chief Executive Alasdair Bennett, Councillor Watt and Welcome Centre Manager Ruth Longmuir

Visiting the Centre ahead of World Homeless Day, Councillor Kate Campbell described their work as “vital”, providing the “first step on resolving people’s homelessness long term” and the “warm welcome and sustain” which is needed for “building trust and relationship that permit that journey to begin”.

Councillor Mandy Watt echoed this, saying that it is “crucial that we prevent homelessness by supporting people early on when they’re at risk of losing their home”.

Between 2020-2021, the Welcome Centre housed and supported over 860 people and, of the known outcomes, 97% were positive.

Relying on funding from the public, churches, trusts, businesses, council and government, the Buy a Bed will help ensure the future of their work and is set to set afloat on October 18.


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