More than 200 donors have helped the 999 Club on Deptford Broadway raise £20,000 to open its first-ever summer shelter for homeless people.
The project, which opens its doors tonight, will be one of just three summer shelters in London and will have 20 spaces for rough sleepers to escape the streets and find help and advice.
While the club is best known for its winter shelter, it operated a spring shelter this year and has now completed the fund-raising for its summer shelter.
The summer shelter appeal was featured in 853‘s Community Spotlight feature five weeks ago, when the club’s Lesley Walker wrote about how rough sleepers face physical abuse during the summer months, while brighter mornings mean many lose regular places to sleep.
It is the second piece of good news for the 999 Club in as many weeks – it has also received a government grant to help it offer shelter services all year round. The £115,925 grant comes from £275,000 given to Lewisham Council from the government’s £30million Rough Sleeper Initiative.
The number of people seen by outreach workers as rough sleeping in Lewisham borough has rapidly increased in recent years – up by 270% between 2011/12 and 2016/17.
999 Club chief executive Tim Fallon said: “We have had an overwhelming response to our first crowdfunding campaign and we’re delighted to have met our target for our inaugural summer night shelter. We want to say an enormous thank you to the community of Lewisham and beyond, for backing the fund.
“All this money will be spent on providing a vital night shelter service for local homeless people over the summer and supporting them to turn their lives around.”
To find out more about the 999 Club, including how to volunteer, visit 999club.org.
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