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Thursday, October 20, 2016
Record year for young homeless centre
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¬†More young people than ever were helped by the Cardinal Hume Centre in Westminster in the past year, it was reported at their annual open evening last Wednesday. After presentations in Westminster Hall - given by centre director Michael Ryan, management committee chair Richard Owen, Education Training Project manager Johan van Rooyen, Andrew, a resident in the Horseferry Road Hostel, and the centre's new patron, Archbishop Cormac - a reception was held in the Throne Room of Archbishop's House. The centre reported a record number of overnight stays at their hostels. Their resettlement team found permanent accomodation for the largest number of young people ever. Richard Owen said the education and training programme has been inundated with students, finding jobs for over 30 people. More than 200 students - double the number last year - had attended classes in literacy, numeracy, computing and study skills. Archbishop Cormac Murphy-O'Connor was given a warm welcome. During the reception he met many of the residents, volunteers and staff. It was an end to a busy day - he'd just met a deanery and hours earlier flown in from a conference in America. The Cardinal Hume centre is one of the few centres in the capital providing a 'complete service' to young homeless people - an emergency hostel, as well as longer term and permanent accomodation, advice, healthcare and education. It was founded by Cardinal Hume in 1986. While employing some paid staff, much of the work of the centre is done by volunteers - including managment, medical staff, charity shop staff, tutors and other professionals. Shortly before he died, Cardinal Hume endorsed an expansion of the centre, doubling the number of bedspaces. By March this year, the charity was more than a third of the way towards its £1m target.
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