A homeless shelter is set to open in an unused University of Nottingham building

The shelter will be open 24 hours a day from next week

An emergency homeless centre is set to open in an unused building at the University of Nottingham.

Starting next week and lasting up until March 2022, a campus building that has been empty for over a year has been offered to provide support for 22 of the city’s rough sleepers.

The 24 hour centre, which will be ran by student and staff volunteers, is in partnership with Nottingham homeless charity, Emmanuel House.

Emmanuel House been working with the city’s rough sleepers since 2006, and helped to move hundreds into hotel accommodation during the Covid-19 pandemic as part of the Government’s ‘Everyone In’ initiative.

However this initiative has now ended and the introduction of new Covid regulations has meant that many homeless shelters have been forced to close their doors.

This shelter therefore comes at a critical time and will hopefully ensure that there are fewer vulnerable people on the streets during the coldest months of the year.

In order to battle the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, temporary walls and screens have been installed in the building so that each guest has their own, Covid-secure space.

Dennis Tully from Emmanuel House told the BBC: “It’s going to be a 24-hour service, so we’ll be able to provide more intensive support.

“The pandemic has made providing emergency accommodation very challenging.”

Muhammad Ali, UoN’s SU community officer, told the BBC: “This is a fantastic initiative from the university and really reaffirms their commitment to being a valued part of the local community.

“I’m really excited about the opportunity this gives to students to get involved in a great cause by helping some of the least fortunate members of our society.”

In a further comment to The Tab Notts, Muhammed said: “We already have an amazing society, Souprunners, which helps feed the homeless community in Nottingham twice a week.

“This is just another great way to get involved in supporting some of the most vulnerable in our society.

“I’d really urge everyone to think about getting involved in some of our fantastic volunteering societies like Souprunners, or with external charities – you can find these opportunities advertised by Karnival.”

Students and staff at the university are welcomed to volunteer and can get involved via the charity’s website.

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