Stratford's temporary homeless drop-in centre is not enough says campaigner - The Stratford Observer

Stratford's temporary homeless drop-in centre is not enough says campaigner

Stratford Editorial 14th Jun, 2019   0

PRESSURE is mounting on council chiefs to provide a permanent help point for the homeless and vulnerable.

The Stratford District Council run Link Project in Waterside closed after an unspecified incident prompted safety concerns nearly four months ago.

From this week the project has started operating again from a temporary home at the United Reformed Church (URC) on Rother Street – but for only two afternoons a week.

It is understood the URC will only be available until the end of July, and homeless campaigner Jackie Lines said although the temporary service was ‘progress’ it was not enough.

She told the Observer: “The situation is causing a lot of unrest on the streets and it is becoming increasingly urgent that a permanent venue is provided.

“A two day provision is some form of progress. Unfortunately it is only temporary and I look forward to hearing of a new permanent venue in place by the end of July.

“The URC is an excellent venue but the requirement for hot showers, washing and drying clothes, foot care and hair dressing cannot be provided.

“SDC is committed to ‘working hard to bring back a service that is safe, helpful and offers the best support possible’. A five day a week service is the bare minimum required for the best support.”

The council stepped in to run the centre in 2016 after the former provider Bromford Support stopped operating in Warwickshire.

The council had not commented on the way forward for the project as the Observer went to press, with spokeswoman

Coun Jo Barker saying the council was ‘committed to assisting rough sleepers on the streets of Stratford’, and she was

pleased to see it reopen as it was such a ‘vital service’ to all those who used it.

The council confirmed food and drink would be available at the drop in sessions, along with support and advice.

The project will run on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week from 12.30pm until 2.30pm.

Anyone who is homeless or in need of help and support can contact the council’s housing advice team on 01789 260861, rough sleeper officer Ann Johnson on 07929369273, or support charity P3 on 01789 336279.

Alternatively they can speak to someone directly at the district council’s Elizabeth House headquarters in Church Street.

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