Search

Havering housing chief ‘wrong on homelessness’, says charity

18:00 17 January 2014

The Hope for Havering Night Shelter at The Church Of The Good Shepherd - volunteer Niamh Bhalla talks with some of the guests

The Hope for Havering Night Shelter at The Church Of The Good Shepherd - volunteer Niamh Bhalla talks with some of the guests

Archant

A homeless charity has accused Havering Council’s housing chief of underestimating the true scale of the problem.

Hope4Havering has served homeless and vulnerable people since October 2011 by providing both accommodation and support.

Each day it is able to house 15 people in its night shelters.

The guests eat at Jubilee House, a church in Main Road, Romford, and then are taken to a different church hall to sleep each night.

A team of four to six volunteers supervise them through the evening and two volunteers sleep overnight with the guests.

It also has four properties which currently house 13 people in supported living. Three full-time staff support those in the houses.

It raises funds through its charity shop in North Street, Romford, as well as by donations from individuals, community groups and churches.

Cllr Lesley Kelly, cabinet member for housing, says many of the people who Hope4Havering (H4H) deal with are not strictly homeless, following a visit to the charity.

She said they are young runaways who do not want to go home or are people from outside Havering, and that only “one or two” are habitual rough sleepers.

H4H insists that 72 per cent of its guests are from the borough and 74pc are older than 25.

Labour’s Cllr Paul McGeary said: “It would appear that the homeless figures given by Cllr Kelly do not reflect the true story in Havering and the situation is worse than stated.”

Kim Merry, H4H chief executive, said that the research performed by the council was of just 10 people out of 360 they have helped in two years and is not representative of the real situation.

Mrs Merry added: “Cllr Kelly visited the project once. It’s like me going to one council meeting saying all they talk about is trains as it’s the one meeting they are discussing trains.”

Cllr Kelly told the Recorder: “We do not want any of our residents sleeping rough and that’s why we work with London Outreach’s Street Rescue team whenever a rough sleeper is identified. There are very few people in the borough who do sleep rough, usually just one or two.”

She added: “We appreciate the goodwill and compassion offered by H4H and did some work with them to look into the backgrounds of the people they work with.

“We found not all of them were homeless, for example, some were young people who wanted to leave home, and others did not want to be helped.”

0 comments

Latest Romford News Stories

13:32
Romford station

Emergency services were called to Romford station after an off-duty officer was attacked.

The cast of The Crucible. Picture: Alessia Chinazzo.

As a major fan of musicals and spontaneous dance numbers, going to see a 1950s American play renowned for its intensity and angst was somewhat of an experience.

Mary Larkin.

A “loving” nurse who worked for 52 years has been commended for her dedication by an NHS Trust after she died last week.

07:00
Keith Prince and Peter McNaught, Operational Director of the Bakerloo, Central and Victoria Lines.

The Mayor of London has been lambasted for his pre-election pledge of “zero strikes” as commuters face more delays this morning due to another Tube strike.

Yesterday, 18:41
Fay Hough is championing a petition to get more changing facilities in toilets for adults and children like her son Bowie who has autism

A mother is raising awareness of the public toilet needs of disabled children

Yesterday, 14:24
Romford MP Andrew Rosindell.

Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell has welcomed the latest figures showing employment across the UK reaching its highest rate since records began.

Yesterday, 11:48
Craig Keane Picture: Met Police

A special constable whose job was to grade indecent images of children, has admitted molesting a sleeping six-year-old.

Yesterday, 11:09
The Brickyard Bar and Grill

A 28-year-old man is believed to have been bottled after a fight broke out at a Romford club.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Are you in need of a new kitchen? Try our competition and you could win a brand new one!

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

MyOffers H&M Competition

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now