Only homeless night shelter on Isle of Man to close due to 'challenging circumstances'

Graih, a homeless charity, has said that people sleeping rough "is a real issue in the Island". Credit: PA Images

The only homeless night shelter on the Isle of Man is to close, it has been announced.

Graih, which means 'love' in Manx, provided more than 3,000 overnight beds after opening a night shelter in 2019.

But, the organisation has been supporting homeless people and those in insecure or unsuitable accommodation, in the Isle of Man since 2008.

It had a daytime and an evening drop-in centre, and emergency overnight accommodation seven nights a week.

It also offered food and a place to shower to homeless people during lunchtime, which will now be taken over by Broadway Baptist Church.

The organisation say the shelter will open on Friday 30 September for a final time "as a result of challenging circumstances and growing pressure on staff resources".

Graih provided more than 3,000 overnight beds after opening a night shelter in 2019. Credit: PA Images

The Manx Government say it is now "actively working" to try and provide interim emergency accommodation for homeless people.

They hope to "continue interim provision" as the shelter, Graih, is set to close at the end of September.

An Isle of Man Government spokesperson thanked the charity for its efforts: "Government would like to place on record its gratitude to the board, staff and all of the volunteers at Graih for their service and dedication, following news that the charity will be ceasing operations.

"Graih has been instrumental in the creation and provision of a space for those in our society without, or in unsuitable or unstable, accommodation.

"We are actively working with the third sector to engage another provider to continue the interim provision of an emergency shelter.

"Conversations have begun to look at commissioning a permanent service to commence in 2023."

Homeless people living on the Isle of Man's will still be able to receive lunchtime support from Broadway Baptist Church in Douglas.

From 10:30 to 14:00 volunteers will continue to provide food, hot drinks, clothing, shower facilities and a safe, social place to visit.

Explaining the decision to close, the chair of Graih, John Bingham said: "Unfortunately, it has become increasingly difficult to maintain staffing levels.

"It is clear now that the situation is no longer sustainable, so it is with deep regret that Graih has taken the very difficult decision to close the night shelter from 30 September.

"As a charity we have always believed in treating people with kindness, compassion and dignity.

"We are grateful to Broadway Baptist Church for the use of its facilities over the years, and thankful that it has agreed to provide continuity of service for our remaining Drop-In and Community activities."