Winchester Churches Nightshelter was founded as a traditional winter nightshelter in 1988. Over the last 30 years, the charity has evolved to become a 24/7 service offering wraparound care to its residents. The focus is on helping each individual to address the issues at the root of their homelessness to enable them to rebuild their lives and escape homelessness for good.
In October 2021 the charity launched a new working name, The Winchester Beacon, to better reflect the wide-ranging service that it now provides. Residents have the opportunity to attend counselling, psychotherapy and addiction support as well as help finding employment and housing.
Residents stay for an average of 116 nights with support continuing after they have moved on to prevent a return to homelessness. There is an option for some residents to move to one of the charity’s off-site houses which act as a stepping stone and a bridge to independent living.