We provide supervised overnight accommodation to homeless people (our Guests) who would otherwise be sleeping rough in Hastings and St Leonards during the extreme winter months (November to March).
Our Guests are referred to us by various local organisations and agencies, primarily Hastings Borough Council Housing Department, Probation Service, and the Seaview Project.
We regret we are unable to accept people who just turn up at a shelter location unannounced.
We see this project as another way of reaching many who live "life on the fringe". It does much more than provide comfort and shelter on bitterly cold nights; it could be the start of a new life.
As you can imagine, things are having to be different this year in regard to the Winter Night Shelter.
COVID-19 means that the Snowflake Trust Ltd and the Hastings and St Leonard Churches will be unable this winter to offer the same dormitory-style winter night shelter accommodation as has been provided for the past nine years. However, it is the Council’s intention to make winter accommodation provision for known/verified rough sleepers.
Hastings Borough Council have responded to the need to provide single room accommodation in the current situation. They have leased two 6-bed properties to provide additional temporary accommodation to those who would otherwise be street homeless. This will run very differently from the Winter Night Shelter and the Rough Sleeping Initiative (RSI) team will take responsibility for assessing and placing residents and for managing the houses.
Hastings Borough Council have asked the Snowflake Winter Night Shelter to continue to be involved in this Winter Temporary Accommodation. Due to the Covid-19 guidelines we are restricted in how much interaction will be possible with residents.
We are working on the details of how we can best help, through meal provision and some social interaction with residents.
It is disappointing that we will not be able to operate the Winter Night Shelter this year, but we are all getting used to things not being the same and having to do things differently. We are pleased that the council will be providing the Temporary Accommodation and if we are able to help to support the residents we will do so.
For anyone in the position of being homeless they should make a referral to Streetlink via https://www.streetlink.org.uk/ . or by calling 0300 500 0914. As these referrals come through, the Council will make offers to all known/verified rough sleepers. Some of these will be winter provision; some will have other more suitable accommodation depending on their needs.
Additionally, rough sleepers are encouraged to approach the Housing Needs Team at 01323 410000 for an assessment, if they haven’t already done so.
SWEP will operate again this year. Notification will be sent to partner agencies when SWEP is activated/deactivated. As regards access, the Housing Needs Team (01323 410000) should be contacted during office hours; and the Out of Hours number (01323 644422) after 5.00pm or over the weekend.
The Trust is funded entirely by voluntary donations and income from grant-making bodies.
Whilst not formally necessary for a charity of Snowflake's size, the Trustees have signed up to the new fundraising guidance from the Information Commissioner, and also registered with the Fundraising Regulator.
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"Volunteering was a fantastic experience and I am proud to have been part of a group that is helping homeless people in the immediate and also the long term. "
"Snowflake has been a life saver to me and the staff are very very helpful and extremely nice what more can i say I've said it all 5 stars."
"I would like to thank all staff & volunteers at Snowflake for all they done for me both while staying there and then for additional help esp regarding xtra help assisting me with getting housed. "