Shelter from the Storm is a completely free emergency night shelter providing bed, dinner and breakfast for up to 44 homeless people every night of the year.
Established in 2007 as a response to the increasing levels of homelessness and destitution on the streets of London, our mission is to house and support the homeless in London whoever they are.
At Shelter from the Storm we do not waste time and energy worrying about whose responsibility someone is or who’s going to pick up the tab … we will. Because we raise all our own money without a penny from the Government we can and do receive guests from anywhere; from the Probation Service to the Red Cross, from Guildford to Ghana, regardless of their access to funding. We have guests who are fleeing torture, forced marriage, honour crime, trafficking for work or sex and plenty who have just fallen through the cracks of our society. Whether it’s an ex squaddie with post traumatic stress compounded by alcoholism, a domestic worker kept in slavery or a young person thrown out by their family for being gay, our volunteers care for each guest as an individual.
With amazing skill, experience and love, we pick up the pieces from the human fallout; we’ll find them a doctor, a counsellor, a lawyer, training, a job. Each evening they sit down to eat together; a simple ritual for most of us, but for many of them it will be the first time they’ve done that since they left home.
We started with one night in a church hall and now we care for up to 44 men and women every night, 365 days a year. Shelter from the Storm truly is a place of transformation not only for our guests, but for all of us.
We’re launching our podcasts documenting the complex, emotionally compelling and often surprising stories of those who pass through our doors.
Each story – told unflinchingly in the words of the guests themselves – is about more than just the experience of homelessness. It’s about the often tragic but rarely uncommon circumstances that lead to it.
In the first episode we meet Lina, the 28-year-old granddaughter of a Guinean King who has spent a lifetime fleeing female genital mutilation. It’s a story about brutality, women’s rights, education, loneliness, and finally hope: a tale about finding your voice against all odds. As with many of these stories, they’re all issues that are closer to home than we like to think.
Our podcast is now verified on iTunes so you can download it from the Podcasts app on your iPhone and listen on the move! Support us by subscribing, telling your friends and, if you enjoyed it, liking or reviewing it. We hope to have two more podcasts before Xmas.
We made these podcasts in partnership with Black Sheep Studios
Warning – some listeners may find the issues covered distressing
Watch this short film about the work of the shelter: