Corby police station will be used as a night shelter for the town’s homeless this winter.
Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold has given permission for the disused station in Elizabeth Street to be used to provide overnight accommodation throughout the winter months.
It will be run by homeless charity Nightlight who say they are thrilled about the commissioner’s offer after having faced difficulties trying to secure a building for this winter.
Last month (September) the charity was granted planning permission to convert a former gym in Cannock Road into a permanent night shelter, but it needs to be converted and cannot come into use until next year.
Nightlight’s chief executive Nicola Pell said: “We are absolutely delighted as we had exhausted just about every other avenue.
“The churches in the town are supportive but it is not always practical to use a church hall for an overnight shelter as there are evening groups that use the hall.
“It had been suggested to me at various times that the police station could be somewhere to use, but my main concern was that it was up for sale.
“I contacted the Police and Crime Commissioner and he was more than happy to help, as he is very supportive of the issue and does a lot of charity work for the homeless.”
Commissioner Mold, who this year took part in a 270 mile bike ride to raise funds for the Hope Centre in Northampton, said: “There are some challenges around homelessness in the country.
“We have a building and if we can help before Nightlight’s permanent building becomes available then we are happy to.”
The charity has put in planning permission to Corby Council for change of use and is hopeful that it can start to be used by this November.
The middle floor of the police building will be used, with an 35-bed open plan sleeping area, a kitchen canteen and DVD room.
There will also be shower facilities which will be the first time the night shelter, which has been operating each winter in various locations across the town, will have washing facilities.
Corby has a homeless community of about 30 people and has a number of tented encampments across the town’s woods.
A week ago today John Holland, who had been living on the streets for several years, died.
John had been treated at Coventry hospital after being found in undergrowth by a dog walker.
A just giving page set up by Corby charity Help the Homeless has been set up to cover funeral costs.