New hostel for homeless opens in Leamington

Round the clock accommodation and care for the homeless will be provided at a new hostel opened in Leamington.

Tuesday, 25th September 2018, 6:32 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th September 2018, 6:34 pm
Pictured outside William Wallsgrove House representatives from P3, Cyrenians, Warwickshire Police, Margaret Moore Leamington Night Shelter, Amanda Wildman WDC Ranger Service, Sarah Reed WDC Hostel Manager, Elaine Wallace WDC Housing Needs Manager, Charlotte Rowan-Lancaster WDC Rough Sleepers Co-ordinator, Lisa Barker WDC Head of Housing and Property Services, Hugh Gaster WCC.

Warwick District Council opened the doors of the hostel at William Wallsgrove House in Lillington Road last week and it will now provide its services to around 22 people for 24 hours a day all year round.

The site, which will be run by 15 staff, is a major element of the council’s rough sleeping initiative which ‘aims to ensure that nobody needs to be street homeless’.

Cllr Peter Phillips, the authority’s portfolio holder for housing and property services, said: “I am very pleased that thanks to our successful bid to central government, support from Warwickshire County Council and the tireless work of the Council’s Housing Services and Assets teams we have been able to open this valuable facility before the winter.

“The new hostel will assist us in our aim to reduce the number of people living rough on our streets and with the specialist support of our team give these vulnerable people the support and skills they need to live independently.”

William Wallsgrove House contains two large dormitory rooms and seven individual rooms all having single beds which will provide a home to individuals who present directly at the hostel or who are referred to the Council through partner agencies including P3, the Police and Cyrenians.

Once settled into the hostel they will be further assessed and where possible housed in one of the council’s supported housing facilities, or if appropriate referred to other supported housing facilities in the district.

The hostel can be accessed directly by rough sleepers without the need to come to or contact the Council in advance.

Unlike night shelters, those using the hostel will be encouraged to stay during the day and access on-site support, care and counselling from specialist agencies and partners.

Lisa Barker, the district council’s head of housing and property services, said: “We understand that the lives of rough sleepers can be complex and multi-faceted.

“The specialist care and support we are able to provide to individuals who seek refuge at William Wallgrove House will be a significant step in helping them address their problems in a safe and secure environment so that when they are ready they are able to move on to more permanent accommodation that is suitable to their needs.

“We cater for all rough sleepers, even their pets as the hostel has a room which is suitable for dogs.”

Warwickshire County Council’s portfolio holder for adult social care and health, Cllr Les Caborn, added: “The county council is committed to tackling homelessness in partnership with the district council.

“Rough sleeping presents challenges across Warwickshire and we are happy to work to together to find joint solutions.”