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2nd Jul, 2022

Homeless drop-in centre closes for safety review

COUNCIL chiefs are remaining tight-lipped following the closure of Stratford’s homeless drop-in centre.

The Link Project, which is run by Stratford District Council and based in Waterside, has closed temporarily for a review of its safety.

The centre provides help, support and advice to rough sleepers, those in temporary housing and people who are socially isolated. This includes access to showering and washing facilities, food and drink and donated clothing.

A post on Facebook revealed the closure was due to recent incidents where ‘luckily’ no one was hurt.

It said: “The actions of a few people have certainly highlighted the problems associated with running a busy project in a small space, however there is no blame to be allocated.”

A Stratford District Council spokeswoman confirmed the council was undertaking a review of the project to ensure service users, volunteers and staff were safe when using the service.

The centre will remain closed until further notice.

In response to concerns raised about those reliant on the Link Project, rough sleeper officer Ann Johnson is inviting people for a chat at the council offices.

Those in need of support can visit the offices in Elizabeth House, in Church Street, on weekday mornings.

In December, an annual count confirmed there were ten people sleeping rough in the district compared with 17 the previous year.

Housing spokeswoman Coun Jacqui Harris said she was pleased to see numbers had reduced, but police, authorities and support providers continued to look at ways to achieve ‘sustainable solutions’ and the council was committed to supporting rough sleepers.

Other organisations, listed below, also offer support to homeless and vulnerable people:

* P3 Charity – housing-related support service to over 25s in Warwickshire (0808 164 6220)

* St Basils – housing-related support for those aged 16 to 25 in Warwickshire (text Need St Basils to 62277 or call 01789 332 540)

* CGL (Change, Grow, Live) – alcohol and drug treatment centre based at 16 Court Street, Leamington (01926 353513)

* Citizens Advice Bureau – 25 Meer Street, Stratford (01789 200136)

* JobCentrePlus – Martin Raff House, Alcester Road, Stratford (0345 604 3719)

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