Leeds & West Yorkshire

Help for the homeless: Bradford charity funds B&B stays

A homeless person sleeping on the street Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Twelve homeless people in Bradford will have three nights in a B&B over Christmas

Twelve homeless people will be spending Christmas in a bed and breakfast after a Bradford charity stepped in to help.

Inn Churches runs a homeless shelter each winter, where those in need are given a bed, hot meal and support in a different partner church each week.

St Matthews at Willesden has paid for those due to stay there over Christmas week to stay in a B&B, so they can get up and go to bed when they like.

Juli Thompson from the charity said homelessness can be worse at Christmas.

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"People sofa surfing are asked to find alternative places over Christmas, people get evicted and services are limited," she said.

"The generosity of the church means our guests can have three nights in a hotel so they can relax and have showers, watch TV and then the Salvation Army at Shipley will lay on a Christmas meal for them."

Image copyright Google
Image caption St Matthew's in Willesden has paid for the 12 to stay in a B&B this Christmas

She said they had had 45 referrals over the past few weeks, but that the volunteers at Inn Churches provide a "warm heart and a listening ear".

One of those using the service, called James, said: "I became homeless through a series of bad choices combined with the circumstances that some of those bad decisions led to.

"A breakdown in my relationship with my ex-partner led to a deterioration in my mental health. That led me to self-medicate, contributing to worsening my situation to a point where options had become limited to none.

"I found out about Inn Churches through a council service and have been with them eight days so far.

"Volunteers have all been amazing, going above and beyond a shelter."

Image copyright Inn Churches
Image caption The winter shelters provide a bed for the night, a hot meal and support for homeless people

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