Town council hands over £25k to put towards homeless night centre at Somewhere To Go
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Weston Town Council has unanimously agreed to push £25,000 towards a night assessment centre to support the homeless.
Somewhere To Go, in The Boulevard, has been earmarked as the ideal place to set up the centre (NAC) which will act, not just as a shelter for the homeless to sleep but also as a front line of support to get people off the streets permanently.
The council met on Monday to decide the fate of the thousands of pounds it had put aside back in January for a night shelter project.
If the full amount is not needed this year, the rest will be carried over to next year.
The homelessness working group, which is made up of representatives from 18 different charities, churches and organisations, is ‘thrilled’ to have secured the money.
It added: “We have worked tirelessly with rough sleepers for many years and believe the acknowledgement of the growing problem of homelessness by the town council is a step in the right direction to ensuring night shelter provision and support is provided to rough sleepers in the Weston area in time for this coming winter.”
“We are delighted we have secured a venue and have already raised £7,500 to allow us to start with a pilot NAC.
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“Using Somewhere To Go as the venue gives us the huge benefit of building upon the invaluable experience it has and the trust it is held in by this group of disadvantaged people. The NAC will operate a referral system with ground rules to minimise disruption in the local area.”
The centre will team up with organisations such as Addaction and the Citizen’s Advice Bureau to get rough sleepers back on their feet.
The group and council has agreed to launch a 12-week pilot scheme to test the effectiveness of a NAC, at a cost of £21,500-26,000.
Cllr Catherine Gibbons said: “This is a pilot which we expect to go forward year after year, and I hope the town council will be minded to support it in the future.
“This is not meant to be a one-off.”