Due to Covid restrictions the Winter Project will not be open this year.
In addition to our 32 beds which are available throughout the year, and an Outreach Team that make contact with rough sleepers, our Winter Project would normally run between November and March, providing 10 beds and supper as respite from the ravages of cold weather in a local church hall.
CHESS is a small charity which has offered help and support to hundreds of homeless people since it was launched 22 years ago. We try and stretch our resources as far as they will go and are constantly balancing the risks posed by increased drug and alcohol use, against the need to keep as many people as we are able to help, in a safe and secure environment.
Why Isn't the Winter Project Happening?
Because of the space that we use in a local church, we are not able to adhere to social distancing rules set out by the Government. The safety and health of the volunteers that run the Project, as well as the individuals who use the service is our priority. If we are not able to comply with the rules then we are not able to offer the service.
What Other Services Are Being Offered?
2020 has proved itself to be a year like no other, with the spread of Coronavirus posing a health threat to everyone without exception. For those sleeping rough measures were put in place by Councils to house them temporarily in local hotels for a period of time. This ended in July and CHESS have been working with the Council to secure additional, more permanent housing solutions which offers access to the CHESS services. This means shelter, meals, hygiene facilities as well as access to a support worker, counselling & therapy, mental health care and other courses, all with the intent to help their move into independent living.
Our plan is to deliver longer term accommodation that will provide a lasting solution to homelessness in the city and the local authorities that we operate with. Whilst the Winter Project provided 10 beds (up to a maximum of 14 in extreme weather conditions) we are seeking to increase our provision from 32 to 64 before Christmas, and are currently working towards this goal.
Can I do Anything To Help?
We are working with local partners and the council to secure additional properties which will increase our service users from 32 to 64. In addition to providing accommodation facilities we also have to recruit and provide support staff to work alongside them. This will be an integral part of the rehabilitation process to those in these new facilities.
Whilst we will receive some funding from local government, we will still have to fundraise to provide any shortfall. If you would like to donate you can do so online or by sending your donation to our offices at 200 New London Road, Chelmsford, CM2 9AB. Thankyou!
Apply For A Bed
If you are currently homeless you can apply for a bed here.
We often have a waiting list but by completing the referral form we can start the process of getting you the help you need.
Worried About A Rough Sleeper
If you are concerned about someone you have seen sleeping rough, you can submit a referral through Streetlink
This will action a visit from our Outreach Team to assess their needs and take necessary next steps to help.