Police station homeless shelter ‘needs to open this month’

Corby's former police station
Corby's former police station

The boss of Corby’s temporary homeless shelter says its vital that it is open this month to prevent any more homeless deaths in the town.

Nightlight CEO Nicola Pell wants the shelter in the town’s mothballed police station to be open as soon as possible.

Police Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold has allowed Nightlight to use the former accommodation block and legendary canteen at the rear of the building to house Corby’s estimated 35 homeless people through the cold months.

Planners in Corby are currently considering an application for a change of use for the building, which has so far drawn no objection and several supportive voices.

Nightlight has already secured permission for a permanent shelter in Cannock Road but that building will not be ready for this winter.

Nicola said: “I was absolutely at the end of my list for possible locations for the shelter and I thought the police station was a long shot but Stephen Mold just said yes straight away.

“We’re incredibly grateful. It’s the first time we’ve had showers available which will make such a difference.

“We’re just so keen to get it open because we really don’t want another rough sleeper death in Corby this year.

“We’ve already lost Tom Gravestock and John Holland. It’s hit us all so hard.”

The shelter will be open from 7pm to 3pm daily and will offer three hot meals to all rough sleepers who come along, as well as showers and a TV room.

Outreach services currently run at other venues in the town will all be housed in the building, which means the charity will save money on rent.

Last year, the charity spent about £6,500 on heating and food for homeless people in the town. The majority is raised at the town’s Big Sleepout which this year is taking place in January.

Nicola said: “The largest proportion was going on heating because I really want people to come in and be warm.

“We are still looking for volunteers and as soon as we’re open we’ll also be appealing for things like warm clothing and food. Lots of people like to bring us cakes which is lovely.

“Anyone who wants to come and look around and meet the guests will be made very welcome.”

This week, a Christmas charity single to raise money for the shelter was launched by local musician Tony Faherty. You can download your copy of Coming Home here

You can donate to Nightlight here and you can find out how to volunteer on their Facebook page.