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

yoga picture for RHP

Reducing stress and anxiety can feel impossible at times, but a yoga teacher in Upminster says she can help residents find inner peace.

The launch of Here to help!, a new service opening in Havering, which will help any Havering residents over 16

Those in need across the borough can hope for a little more support with the launch of a new care programme.

Yesterday, 15:00
St Mary's Catholic School refurb.

Pupils at one of the borough’s largest faith schools will have been rubbing their eyes in disbelief when they returned to class this month.

Yesterday, 12:00
Adrian Baker is still touring today.

After a successful career spanning more than four decades, a chart-topping guitarist has recalled how it feels to perform in front of audiences around the world.

Yesterday, 10:00
Councillors and winners celebrate a successful London in Bloom competition.

Havering is this year’s biggest winners at the London in Bloom competition after it toppled last year’s previous record.

Fri, 16:05
Parking tickets on a car in a railway station.

Parking fines handed out to drivers in the borough have more than doubled in the space of five years.

Fri, 13:25
Ricky Hayden was killed earlier this month (Picture: Kosho Bar)

A teenager appeared in court for the first time today, charged with murdering Ricky Hayden and attempting to murder his father.

Fri, 10:54
Leader of the council Roger Ramsey

The leader of Havering Council is continuing to take the fight to the government over fairer funding, saying reduced grants have seen the authority “starved of money”.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

Kit yourself out and go Apple mad!

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

VW Golf Estate

As we grow older it becomes more and more important to have means to travel about safely and quickly. Our friendship groups and families grow and the need to have a car that is not only safe but also fast and big enough for all our needs is ever more important. There are many cars on the market for such needs but none deals with them as efficiently or as neatly as a VW Golf Estate. These cars are build strong, long lasting and spacious for a reason. They cater to the needs of many and are some of the most popular cars currently on the market.

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