Seven Kings Gurdwara close homeless night shelter
One of the organisers of a winter homeless shelter at a gurdwara has said too much of a burden is being placed on religious and voluntary organisations.
Mankamal Singh, treasurer of the Gurdwara Singh Sabha, High Road, Seven Kings also praised the hard work of the 15 volunteers who helped the shelter run successfully.
For three months volunteers welcomed up to 25 a night who were in need of a place to stay, as well as providing food and advice.
Mr Singh said: “We would like to thank all the volunteers who gave up their time.
“We are still doing outreach support and monitoring those that came to the shelter, we are not going to stop that.”
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This year was the second time the homeless shelter was run at the gurdwara. We will definitely be working towards doing it again next year and in the meantime we will see how we can offer more support,” said Mr Singh.
“Some of the guests have managed to find temporary accommodation with friends but some people are back on the streets.” The gurdwara worked in partnership with the Refugee and Migrant Forum of East London, High Road and the Salvation Army, Clements Road both in Ilford.
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Mr Singh said: “The government should be doing more. Too much of the burden is being placed on the religious and voluntary organisations. There’s only so far we can take it as volunteers.”
The shelter also helped anyone who wished to return to their native countries to get advice and support in the often complicated process.
Mr Singh added: “As well as shelter and food, the gurdwara volunteers also provided counselling for alcohol and drug abuse as well as warm clothing, healthcare and rough sleepers with immigration advice or temporary accommodation advice for those who were eligible.”