Hope4Havering's Catalyst Night Shelter finds a permanent home in Romford
PUBLISHED: 17:00 27 February 2019 | UPDATED: 17:07 27 February 2019
A charity that is striving to eradicate homelessness in Havering officially opened a permanent location for a night shelter in Romford.
Hope4Havering has been running The Catalyst Night Shelter for seven years at different church halls in the borough.
After months of looking for a permanent home, it officially opened the doors to a permanent venue for homeless people in Atlanta Boulevard.
The mayor of Havering, councillor Dilip Patel, cut the ribbon at the opening night on Monday, February 25.
Kim Merry, chief executive of the charity told the Recorder: “It went very well, it was a lovely evening.
“We’ve had a lot of success stories. We’ve seen people re-housed, people go to rehabilitation, or get connected with services that they need for their health.
“We take 20 people into the night shelter, men and women, but we also have 27 units of supported living in our Thrive Community Housing project.”
Speaking about how the charity decided on the night shelter’s name, Kim said: “Sometimes people need a catalyst for change so that they don’t become homeless again.
“We want them to think about what needs to change from the beginning when they start their journey with us.
“We’ve got a landlord network and we can virtually guarantee someone will be re-housed if they’re able to sort out things that are necessary such as identification.”
Hope4Havering was previously leasing an office in Romford to run it’s daily operations.
At a meeting with the landlord, Robert Whitton, Kim asked if he would consider letting the property to the charity so that they could use it as a homeless shelter.
She was surprised when he agreed and now wants to encourage other landlords to be supportive for similar organisations.
Robert said: “As landlord of the property I am very pleased to support this worthwhile charity that provides such an important service to transform lives.”
In addition to help from the landlord, Hope4Havering received donations from the Breyer Foundation, Emma Reynolds, the owner of Scallywags Nursery and Prab Paul from the Vincit Group.
To support Hope4Havering with making more improvements to the shelter, visit justgiving.com/hope4-havering.