New homeless shelter plan for Kettering

jpns-08-02-16-013 homeless gv PPP-160502-125830001

jpns-08-02-16-013 homeless gv PPP-160502-125830001

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Kettering Council is working with a local group to try to set up an emergency night shelter for the homeless.

The Hub, based in the Open Door Church in Montagu Street, has taken action after an increase in rough sleepers in Kettering.

They want to create ‘Hub Nights’, providing overnight accomodation to those in most urgent need in the town during severe weather.

The Open Door Church’s project co-ordinator Andy Byatt said: “We’re hoping to open at the beginning of February and we’re holding sessions for volunteers on February 4.

“There seems to be an increase in Kettering’s High Street in the number of people who are sleeping rough. As a church and as a community group we are desperate to make a difference to the lives of people who are in need often through no fault of their own.

“But even if if it is down to substance abuse that does not mean they do not need help.”

The Hub’s newsletter said: “As a result of the increasing number of people sleeping on the streets in Kettering and the need our guests have identified, we are excited to announce that we are currently meeting with the council to set up Hub Nights.

“Our ability to provide this is dependent upon volunteers.

“If you are interested in helping [on] one or more nights per fortnight from 9pm to 8am the please contact us.”

During 2016 alone, The Hub served 1,192 meals to people and provided 10 tents, a number of sleeping bags and many items of clothing and shoes to those in need.

Kettering Council’s portfolio holder for housing, Cllr James Burton said: “Every Monday evening they serve hot meals to the needy, rough sleepers and homeless people.

“When the temperature drops below a certain centigrade for three days the council goes out and finds the rough sleepers and we normally take them and put them into sheltered accomodation.

“That happened only the other week, from January 12 to 16, and is the first we’ve had in some time.

“What will happen in the future when this is up and running is that instead of being taken to bed and breakfasts they get taken to The Hub where they will be spending those particular days.”

For advice, to volunteer or offer donations contact hubnights.edencentre@gmail.com or call Andy Byatt on 07834 388389.