On the 5th August our new look Beacon support Centre opened for the first time since lockdown began in March. Our outreach team have been telling everyone they meet about the beacon re-opening and word is spreading around the city among the rough sleeper community. This means that people are coming to Barnabus without prior knowledge of our work. People are really thankful for the opportunity to come in and have a shower as the availability of showers to rough sleepers is now much lower than it was before COVID19.

Having fewer people in the Beacon means that there is more time and privacy for our guests, this has allowed us to get to know some individuals much better and have the time to create more detailed and effective plans with them to help them move away from the streets for good.

One individual, who has been known to Barnabus for many years, came in for a shower and a cup of tea; we were able to have a really positive conversation with him. Previously, he would just pop in for breakfast say hello to our staff then leave. This time we were able to engage with him in a deeper way than before and have a really honest discussion with him about his situation. He is now talking about recovery plans for his addictions. Our support team also found out that he is the victim of Universal Credit Fraud so he is not receiving any of the money he is entitled to so they are now working with him to resolve this.

Our Beacon team were pivotal in helping a woman escape an abusive relationship where both she and her partner were homeless together. We were able to help her escape this relationship and get housed in the city. She is doing very well and has continued to work with our support team to get help with her addiction as well as help to move into more permanent accommodation that can further support her. Finding out about her difficult situation may, sadly, have been missed if she had come to us on a very busy morning in the Beacon.

Joy, one of our engagement workers found someone who was unknown to Barnabus while on Early Morning Outreach. This person had a condition that needed immediate medical attention to prevent a potentially life threatening infection. We were able to bring him back to the beacon and over a cup of tea he was persuaded to get the medical attention he needed. He was then sent to A and E by our staff, in a taxi, with a fresh set of clothes and a meal. We have continued working with this individual and we were able to secure him a ticket so he can return to his home town.

This new system allows us to get to know people better than ever before and ensure that we really follow through on the support we give each individual. While previously we had a lot more people coming into the Beacon every day, a much higher proportion of people are then going on to see our support team and begin a really positive journey away from the streets.


COVID19 has posed many hurdles however, we are so thankful to be able to continue our work with people experiencing homelessness. We have not been open for long and we are already seeing successes for people experiencing homelessness and we are very excited to continue this new way of working into the future.