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Sunday, December 4, 2016
Westminster: expansion plans for the Cardinal Hume Centre
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¬†The Cardinal Hume Centre for homeless and socially excluded people in Westminster announced today that they have been given £1.89million from the Housing Corporation for a major extension and modernisation programme. The Centre, working in partnership with Servite Houses, will use the Local Authority Social Housing Grant to construct an extra floor on top of its Hostel for 16 to 21 year olds. The award will not only allow the Centre to extend the number of beds offered to homeless young people from 18 to 32, but also to carry out major improvement works to its premises. Custom built as a convent in the 60's the centre houses six complementary services working with homeless people, refugees and asylum seekers and families in temporary or inappropriate accommodation, supporting some 1400 adults and 400 children per year. The Centre's director Cathy Corcoran explained: "Demand for housing in Westminster is overwhelming yet Central London is a magnet to the homeless and socially excluded people from around the country and beyond. The Centre's expansion will give more space and much needed facilities to its already oversubscribed projects. "Early intervention is key to homelessness prevention and young people in particular need support and advice to prevent them falling into a homelessness cycle. There is a critical lack of appropriate hostel accommodation for young people at risk in Westminster." "Homelessness in Westminster is the highest in London and the country as a whole. Last year 5,529 households applied to the Council as homeless and 1,069 households were accepted as statutorily homeless. The pressure on Westminster's services is extremely high and the Centre is no exception, with five people applying for every available hostel space. We provide an essential service of support, advice, training and education as well as accommodation." Ten of the new bed spaces will be earmarked for referral from Westminster City Council for homeless young people or care leavers. Crucially, the extension will enable the Centre to increase the amount of group work and life skills services it provides as well as giving full access to wheelchair users. The work will begin in spring and will take some 18 months to complete. The Cardinal Hume Centre is a charity established in 1986 by Cardinal Basil Hume in response to all the young people he saw living on the streets. Today the Centre has six separate projects: A hostel for 16 - 21 year olds providing additional skills development and counselling, a hostel for homeless people recovering from an addiction, a Drop-in Project for young people, a Family Day Centre, an Education project and a Medical Centre for homeless people. All projects are aimed at providing people who are at risk with the skills and support to turn their lives around and lead meaningful independent lives. Source: Cardinal Hume Centre
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