In 25 London boroughs, groups of churches have come together to provide winter shelter to homeless people. Generally using a different church hall each night, these schemes help many people with highly complex issues.
The shelters are mainly staffed by volunteers with varying levels of experience. Since 2012 Easl has provided them with fortnightly training and discussion forums offering a combination of structured learning and focused discussions about how to help specific people. The forums have become an important space for cross-sector collaboration; attendance has grown and they are now also attended by staff of other agencies which work with homeless people. This project is funded by the London Catalyst.