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

Yesterday, 17:05
Leah who is part of the young people group at Havering Mind

The Recorder has launched a major mental health awareness campaign with charity Havering Mind, which will run throughout 2016. Through Mind Your Mental Health we aim to break down the stigma that persists and share advice for analysing and improving the wellbeing of our community. This week Emma Lake finds out how mentors can help young people

Yesterday, 17:00
Havering Mind's Live a better life programme, at, Harrow Lodge House, Hornchurch

Vanessa Bennett

It is estimated that in any given year 20 per cent of children will suffer from a mental health problem.

Yesterday, 14:00
The Recorder is running a competition where readers can win five family tickets to the London Aquarium

Up for grabs this week are five family tickets for one of the capital’s most popular attractions – the London Aquarium.

Yesterday, 12:01
Copper Box arena school dance championship, Abbs Cross Academy

Dancers have been celebrating walking away from a London-wide championship with two awards.

Yesterday, 07:00
Council is set to increase by 3.99 per cent

Residents face a bigger council tax bill after a 3.99 per cent increase was given approval on Wednesday.

Fri, 16:13
The team cross the finish line in Antigua. Picture: Ben Duffy

The first hurricane to hit the Atlantic in January since 1938 couldn’t stop four daredevils joining the elite group of people to row across it.

Fri, 13:09
The map shows the net increase of new businesses, which have opened in 2015 by areas. These figures take into account the number of businesses, which closed in the same year.

As new companies are launched around the borough, Romford continues to attract most of Havering’s start-up activity.

Fri, 10:21
Jon Hill outside Buckinham Palace after receiving his CBE. Photo: Jon Hill

When a loved one dies families can take comfort in having a body to bury and grieve over, but for decades the relatives of Northern Ireland’s “disappeared” have not.

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

Champagne experience

This Valentine’s Day, the Coca-Cola London Eye is the perfect destination for lovebirds, offering a range of romantic experiences from Friday 12th February - Sunday 14th February 2016.

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe