Five years on Hope4Havering is still changing lives in the borough

Hope4Havering celebrating its fifth anniversary

Hope4Havering celebrating its fifth anniversary - Credit: Hope4Havering

A homeless charity, which has provided more than 20,000 bed spaces for people since its opening, has celebrated its fifth anniversary.

Kim Merry set-up Hope4Havering five years ago

Kim Merry set-up Hope4Havering five years ago - Credit: Archant

Hope4Havering, which has run night shelters across the borough for rough sleepers since 2011, organised a meal at the Good Shepherd, Redriff Road, Collier Row, on Tuesday to celebrate the occasion.

This was the charity’s first night shelter, and when it opened five years ago it only had one user.

Now more than 1,000 people have registered and the charity receives about 20 new referrals every month. Nine newcomers registered on Wednesday alone.

Director of Hope4Havering Kim Merry said: “I am so proud of our staff, volunteers, churches and those in the local community, who have made it their mandate to support the vision ‘to make homelessness history in Havering’.

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“Without their time, effort and financial support we would not be in the position we are today.”

Volunteer Ian Casimir, 48, first visited when he was a rough sleeper for three years.

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He said: “Hope4Havering has turned my life around. It has given me more hope in life. I now have a place and a second chance.”

Keith Reed added: “I’m glad there’s people like Hope4Havering around to look after those in need of shelter. I’ve made a lot of good friends in the same situation and there’s good camaraderie in the shelter.”

Hope4Havering is now expecting to see around 48 guests per month during the winter period. People using the shelter can stay for a maximum of 12 weeks and help is provided find them long-term accommodation.

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