New wing to be built at Harrogate Homeless Project to meet increased demand

Andy Kirk and Liz Hancock at the Harrogate Homeless Project

Andy Kirk and Liz Hancock at the Harrogate Homeless Project

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Harrogate Homeless Project is set to meet increased demand for temporary shelter of rough sleepers by building a new wing with beds for men and women.

As part of the project’s ‘No Second Night Out’ initiative, anybody sleeping rough in the district will be offered in and given emergency accommodation and support.

The scheme has had more than 600 referrals in the three years it has been running and had a record number of people using their service over Christmas.

As a result of the increased demand, Harrogate Borough Council are now funding a new wing for the hostel which will provide temporary overnight stay for rough sleepers.

Rough sleepers referred through ‘No Second Night Out’ currently sleep on camp beds made up on the floor on the meeting room with others sleeping on sofas in the communal lounge.

However, the new building will now provide better, purpose built shelter for rough sleepers, including proper beds in two additional rooms for men and women.

The work to provide the additional bedrooms will be done by the council’s in house maintenance team and Coun Mike Chambers, HBC’s cabinet member for Housing and Safer Communities welcomed the extension.

He said: “Harrogate Borough Council supports the Harrogate Homeless Project in a wide range of ways.

“As well as providing grant funding, the project is located in a council owned building in Harrogate town centre, which is let at a peppercorn rent.

“The homeless project is acknowledged nationally as an example of best practice in its work at getting homeless people back into accommodation and we are proud to be able to support the project’s work.”

Between October 1 and December 30 2015, 44 people were provided with emergency shelter after being referred through No Second Night Out.

Andy Kirk, No Second Night Out project leader, said that the increased demand was due to private landlords reluctance to let to residents receiving benefits or even on lower incomes.

Liz Hancock, project manager at the hostel, praised the work of No Second Night Out and said the extension will help them tackle the ongoing problem of rough sleepers in the district.

She said: “We are really pleased that Harrogate Borough Council has made this extension possible; as No Second Night Out has become established as the proven successful model for alleviating rough sleeping in the district.

These new facilities will provide better, purpose built shelter for people coming off the streets and allow the hostel lounge to once again be used by our hostel residents.

“Up to now we have been managing by using communal hostel areas, the new facility will provide greater privacy and comfort for people to stay overnight.

“The success of the NSNO scheme in tackling rough sleeping in the district means that proper, permanent facilities had become essential and we know that our clients will benefit from this huge improvement.”

“We are very grateful to HBC for upgrading the building to make this happen.”