Public invited to meeting on night assessment centre

PUBLISHED: 08:59 30 August 2018 | UPDATED: 09:00 30 August 2018

People will be able to ask about the night assessment centre and raise any concerns. Picture: Getty Images/iStockPhoto/bodnarchuk

People will be able to ask about the night assessment centre and raise any concerns. Picture: Getty Images/iStockPhoto/bodnarchuk

bodnarchuk

Residents and business owners are encouraged to ask questions and have their say about the prospective night assessment centre in Weston.

The brains behind the centre will host the meetings at Somewhere To Go, in Weston’s Boulevard, in a bid to ease concerns and doubts about the centre which it is hoped will open towards the end of this year.

The project, which aims to provide support for rough sleepers, has seen 18 charities, churches and public groups, as well as the community, come together.

It is also benefitting from the support of North Somerset and Weston town councils, to work towards a solution for Weston’s homelessness problem.

MORE: Weston Town Council pledged £25k towards a night assessment centre in June.

Calls for a centre were sparked in January when good Samaritans took to the street to help the rough sleepers, with hundreds donating time, money, bedding and clothing to the cause.

The night assessment shelter will be hosted at Somewhere To Go through the winter months initially and will not only offer shelter and a meal overnight but it will also act as a safe place for the rough sleepers to access services such as Addaction, Citizens Advice Bureau and the council.

MORE: The group has asked for planning permission to open the centre.

Planning permission was submitted earlier this month to convert the drop-in centre into a night centre, with people being referred through its partners such as the YMCA, St Mungos and street wardens.

The centre will be funded thanks to a pledge from Weston Town Council for £25,000 as well as donations through fundraising efforts.

MORE: Professionals are being urged to come forward to help the homeless.

Central ward Cllr Richard Nightingale believes it has been a real team effort to get this far, so quickly.

He said: “These recent efforts towards a permanent solution to rough sleeping in Weston are a result of a huge effort by the local community, the council and other charitable organisations working together.

“It is much to the group’s credit not only do they want to participate in the council’s own consultation on the proposal but they are also holding their own public open meetings to give residents an opportunity to be part of the process.

“There is no doubt rough sleeping is a national issue and many of the people who are caught in this trap have complex needs, however this scheme will go a long way to offering them much needed important support.”

The meetings will be held on Wednesday from 3-4pm and September 12 from 6.30-7pm.

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