Coronavirus forces Kettering homeless shelter to close as council takes the lead

Kettering Safe Until Daylight has closedKettering Safe Until Daylight has closed
Kettering Safe Until Daylight has closed
The dorm style accommodation was not appropriate

Kettering Safe Until Daylight has been forced to close its rough sleeping shelter after its dorm-style accommodation was deemed no longer appropriate due to coronavirus.

In a statement on Facebook, the shelter said: "We nearly had a full time year round shelter. Everything was set up and almost ready to go.

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"However, due to Covid-19, we have been told that our dorm-style accommodation is no longer appropriate. Therefore, Safe Until Daylight will not be in operation again."

The news was met with sadness from those who had volunteered with Safe Until Daylight and others who have supported the project.

Safe Until Daylight added: "Kettering Borough Council have assured us that they now have adequate plans in place (with the assistance of Accommodation Concern), which mean that rough sleeping will not rise to the same appalling numbers it did over the last 10 years of austerity."

Accommodation Concern is a charity in Kettering that offers housing advice and rough sleeping outreach services.

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Kettering Borough Council said it is taking part in the government's 'Everyone In' initiative and is making offers of dispersed self-contained temporary accommodation to "verified" rough sleepers.

It said: "The council, in partnership with Accommodation Concern and other agencies, works intensively with accommodated rough sleepers to try and address barriers to longer term accommodation solutions, so they can remain ‘in for good’.

"Since March, the council and partner organisations have provided 20 entrenched rough sleepers with temporary accommodation and supported 28 individuals who were rough sleeping, or at risk of rough sleeping, into long term settled housing solutions.

"Kettering Borough Council is committed to ending rough sleeping and our current approach will continue, helped with the recent recruitment of a new ‘Rough Sleeper Coordinator’, who will increase our capacity to provide a comprehensive and sensitive response to this vulnerable group."

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Safe Until Daylight urged people to stay vigilant for rough sleeping and said: "We would appeal to everyone, that if they see their fellow human beings being degraded in such a way (for mere want of a supervised indoor space with an airbed on the floor), that they kick up hell! Write to MPs, complain to councillors, attend public meetings and highlight the issue as much as possible.

"Kettering has been good to us and supported us well, as has KBC, so thanks all!"

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