Monday 31 December 2007

Unhappy New Year For Homeless As H&F Council Deliver Further Blow By Ending Local Homeless Hostels

H&F Council are shutting down twelve homeless hostels and turning them into private housing worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. The controversial decisions are going before the Planning Applications Committee which is chaired by Ravenscourt Park Councillor Lucy Ivimy (Con).

This comes off the back of an earlier decision to deny the BBC and Crisis the right to run a Christmas shelter in the borough which was reported here and by the Evening Standard in this article here.

Earlier this year the council also slashed funding to the Broadway project for single homeless people in Shepherds Bush. Then in September, it put pressure on an independent charity, the Barka Foundation, not to give money to the Upper Room - based at St Saviour's church in Wendell Park - which provides hot meals and supports homeless people back into employment.

Duncan Shrubsole, the director of policy and research at Crisis told the Evening Standard, "Of particular concern is that when we wrote to the council leaders they were not even prepared to meet us to discuss their concerns. From what other organisations tell us, this appears to be characteristic of their approach to charities working with poor and vulnerable people in Hammersmith and Fulham."

I hope that we can persuade H&F Conservatives that the best means of addressing homelessness is to support people to get out of that situation. Not to end facilities and hope they go away. We will continue to press them on this.

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