Homeless shelter scrapped as it loses funding

  • Home For The HomelessThe news comes less than a fortnight after a vulnerable rough sleeper, named this week as William Horgan, was discovered dead on the town's Great Western Beach.

    An action group was established last year after soup kitchen managers and mental health charity leaders revealed up to six people were dying every winter on the resort's streets.

    The town council put aside £2,500 to equip a property that would be managed by an outreach worker from a homeless charity such as St Petroc's. A location had even been chosen - but this week former mayor Andy Hannan confirmed the plan had fallen through due to funding issues.

    He said:

    I'm disappointed and frustrated that this has fallen flat. What I don't want is any more fatalities. That's what it was all about.

    St Columb Minor's vicar Chris McQuillen-Wright, who also worked on the shelter project, said it could only have succeeded with funding for an expert manager:

    We are now not going ahead in Newquay because we wanted to work with the voluntary sector and unfortunately the funding is not there.

    Mr Hannan raised concerns that Cornwall Council, and its housing arm, Cornwall Housing, had failed to implement an adequate cold weather provision plan.

    In the absence of an immediate access shelter in Newquay, vulnerable rough sleepers would be transferred to Truro. But agencies such as the police have raised concerns that provision will also be lacking in Cornwall's capital this winter.

    He said he had approached bosses at Cornwall Housing about where he could best channel the £2,500 that had been earmarked for the night shelter project.

    A spokeswoman for Cornwall Housing did not comment on funding for the Newquay night shelter but said it had been monitoring temperatures since November 1 and had worked with other agencies on a Severe Weather Emergency Provision (SWEP).

    She said:

    SWEP is triggered by a weather forecast predicting three or more consecutive nights of a minimum temperature of zero degrees or lower. So far we have not needed to trigger SWEP in Cornwall.

    We have been working with partners since the summer with a view to implementing both an ad hoc provision if required by a cold snap as well as a block provision to provide accommodation for periods when adverse weather would normally be expected.

     
    Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1060834

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