From Herefordshire Council

Christmas can be a difficult time for those affected by homelessness, and the ongoing pandemic makes it even tougher.

This time of year can bring feelings of loneliness and social isolation, high bills and money worries, not to mention the bitter winter weather that poses a serious risk to health and wellbeing.

Herefordshire Council is encouraging people affected by homelessness to be aware of the support that is available.

What to do if you are homeless, or fear that you may become homeless

If you are homeless or think you are going to be, we can provide much needed support at what is a frightening and traumatic time.

We can advise you of your housing rights and provide advice on any welfare support you can get, including housing benefits. We can also negotiate with your landlord or friends and family to help you stay in your accommodation.

While the current government guidance on social distancing remains in place we are unable to offer a face-to-face service but you can call our triage service between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Friday on: 01432 261546 or 01432 261547

If you are unable to contact us by phone you can email us at

If you are homeless in an emergency and your call is outside of these hours above, call us on 01432 261600.

If you are under 18 and homeless, please call our Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) team on 01432 260800 and ask to speak to the duty social worker. Please tell us if you are a care leaver.

Cold weather

If the temperature is 0 degrees or below Herefordshire Council will look to offer you accommodation overnight. The accommodation is likely to be a B&B and where possible we will book it close to where you have your support network. This provision will be reviewed daily and your Rough Sleeper Outreach Worker will work with you to secure future housing.

Home Point

If you have a housing need you can register with Home Point which will enable you to bid for available social housing properties. As an alternative, we may be able to help you secure private rented accommodation that is suitable and affordable. Where possible we will help you find accommodation in an area of your choice, or as close as possible.

Winter night shelter 

The winter night shelter 2021-22 is located at New Zara House (NZH), in Whitecross Road, Hereford and is managed by Herefordshire Council.

The shelter is open from 9pm-7.45am, providing beds in a secure refuge from 13 December – 31 March, for up to 14 guests, men and women, allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.

Many of the people coming to the shelter have previously been staying with relatives, ‘sofa surfing’ or sleeping on floors, with friends. However, changing circumstances, relationship issues, family breakdowns, financial problems, including food poverty, arguments or abuse cause them to leave.

When the shelter is full, a supplementary service operates. Insulated survival bags are provided for those above the maximum number, and additional procedures operate for their safety and wellbeing.

Each night, guests will take a Covid-19 lateral flow test, before entering the shelter. Two wardens will be on duty each night. One additional warden and a volunteer will be available from 8.45-11:00pm to support guests and duty wardens. A volunteer will support in the morning.

How can I donate?

Any donations should be sent to the well-established independent charity, Hereford Open Door, which supports homeless and vulnerable people.

Donations would be welcomed in the following ways:

  • By bank transfer, the easiest way is to use the ‘Make a Donation’ button on the Hereford Open Door website The splendidly named, ‘Wonderful Payments Ltd’ charges no fee, so all the donations go to the charity. There is also an option to gift aid the donation.
  • If you wish to use BACS / CHAPS bank transfers, please e-mail Ian Roberts, the Open Door Treasurer, for further details, at 
  • Cheques should be sent to Hereford Open Door, c/o 3 Bedford Street, Hereford, HR4 0DR.
  • If you wish to Gift Aid your donation, then a signed note, or an e-mail, including your home address, saying the donor is a UK taxpayer and wishes to gift aid the donation, is all that is required.

What else can I do to help?

You could also care for guests by being a warden – a duty warden who stays overnight, or an additional warden who will be available from 8.45-11.00pm to support the guests and duty wardens. These roles are paid.

Alternatively, you could volunteer to support guests and staff at the shelter from 8.45-11.00pm or from 7.00-8.00am. You will receive training, guidance and support for your role.

For further details, please write soon to David Wheeler ( who is responsible for staffing the night shelter.

Further support

The Hereford Salvation Army have heroically supported needy people in the city and beyond, throughout the whole pandemic. They are supporting the winter night shelter generously in every way – financially, through personal service and food provision. They need and deserve your support. See their website:

Hereford Open Door support homeless and vulnerable people all year round. See their website: You may wish to donate to this every day support, as well as donating to their work in the night shelter.

The Living Room is a safe place for anyone. It is a café providing good quality food, a community larder, a safe community space and a warm welcome to everyone, in the centre of Hereford.

See their website: & Facebook page.

Vennture supports homeless and vulnerable people in many ways:

For more information please visit the Herefordshire Council website