Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Westminster rolling shelter to close

July 10 2009
Central London now has few bed spaces An emergency shelter in Westminster is to close this summer, leaving the central London borough with 27 fewer bed spaces. It is thought that as a consequence of Seymour Place closing down, the only remaining rolling shelter accommodation to be referred to in Westminster will be outside the borough. There are concerns that this could make things more difficult for benefit claims and housing applications. The Seymour Place Rolling Shelter, run by St Mungo's, will close down at the end of August after being opened for six years. Funding for the emergency shelter seems to have run out; according to the website www.homelesslondon.org, it was secured only until July 2009. A St Mungo's spokesperson said: "The lease for the Seymour Place shelter was on a year-to-year basis. It wasn't a permanent shelter by its nature. It has been a good base, but it is not possible to develop to the kind of standard we want. Seymour Place is an old building and not the ideal shelter space." St Mungo's said in an official statement that it was "set to open a new emergency shelter for rough sleepers, offering more bed spaces". However, the charity has not yet disclosed where the new emergency shelter will be, and its opening in September is "subject to final discussions." The statement added: "The St Mungo's team is committed to helping all current residents into suitable move-on accommodation. Our outreach team will continue to work on the streets finding suitable accommodation for those in need in the borough." The Seymour Place shelter was used to provide time-limited stay for people coming in straight from rough sleeping in Westminster. During their stay at Seymour Place, people were prepared to move on to other hostels.
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