Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

current issue



More hostel beds lost

April 15 2011
Homeless charity "very concerned"

Local government spending cuts have lead to a worrying trend of homeless hostels closing down. With the full impact of cuts yet to be felt, there are understandable fears over the provision of services for vulnerable people. Homeless Link has warned that as many as a quarter of beds available to rough sleepers could be lost as a result of reductions in public spending.

At the end of last year, Lambeth Council announced the closure of its 120-bed hostel in Cedars Road, Clapham, a decision that the council claims "will not lead to more homeless people on the street." However, the charity that runs the hostel, St Mungo’s, has said that it is "very concerned" about the impact of closure.

Mike McCall, its executive director of operations, said: "We want an open and helpful dialogue with the council about homelessness in Lambeth, the role of Cedars and alternative options.

"Cedars Road is a cost-effective, vital place of safety and recovery for homeless people in Lambeth. The worry is that the number of rough sleepers will continue to rise as a consequence of public spending cuts."

This is in addition to the closure of two Centrepoint hostels at the end of March. The City of London Centrepoint and the Salter’s City Foyer have both risen to national attention thanks to the support of Prince William, who spent a night at one of the hostels last year after visiting both shelters as a child with his mother, Princess Diana.

The reduction in homeless services is not limited to the capital, with the announcement at the beginning of March that four of Nottingham’s Framework hostels will no longer receive council funding. Although this does not necessarily mean that the hostels will close down, it does mean they will be unable to provide the same level of support for rough sleepers. Michael Leng, operations director at Framework, said: "this will have a huge, damaging impact on the city."

Mr Leng added: "People will die and, significantly, people will die early as a result of this."