Corby night shelter hoping to open before Christmas

The organisation that is going to be running Corby’s new all-year night shelter is hoping to be open before Christmas.

Tuesday, 19th November 2019, 4:49 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th November 2019, 4:49 pm
The new shelter will be in Dorking Walk.

East Northants Community Services (ENCS) – which runs the Sanctuary shelter in Rushden – says it will not commit to an opening date, but wants to be able to offer beds to Corby’s rough sleepers before Christmas.

Corby Council has spent £130,000 renovating some linked properties on Dorking Walk to use as a new permanent night shelter, with works now complete.

It will have 16 beds in five dormitory rooms as well as a three-room and two-room flat with shared facilities.

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It will be the only shelter in the town after charity Corby Nightlight abandoned plans earlier this year to turn the former gym in Cannock Road owned by Corby Council into a shelter.

Corby Nightlight is currently running a catering van on some lunchtimes and afternoons for the town’s rough sleepers, with a small encampment of people currently living in town centre woodlands in tents.

ENCS’ operations manager Jo Burns said they were currently in the process of recruiting a manager for the centre and have some employed staff. A training session is taking place this week for volunteers.

She said: “We are working to open as soon as we can. I’m not committing to opening before Christmas, but we hope so. We are not going to give a date.”

In a Corby Council report in June about rough sleeper funding and activities the council said it was hoping to have the night shelter operational by October 31.

Figures in the report said there were 28 rough sleepers in the town in 2018 and in June this year it was estimated there were 15 people sleeping rough in the town.

Last winter Corby Nightlight ran a shelter from the former Corby Police station in Elizabeth Street. The council says that of the 34 people who used the night shelter last winter 19 were housed.

Nine refused help, five were ineligible for help and one person was engaged in finding accommodation.

Alongside the shelter the council also has an outreach worker and move on coordinator – funded by £35,000 from the government’s rough sleeping initiative fund.

A council spokesman said: “Corby Council’s outreach worker continues to work closely with rough sleepers within the borough giving them advice and support with regards to being housed.”