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Monday, 01 September 2014

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New haven for the homeless in Cumbria

A long-standing empty building has been transformed into a temporary haven for rough sleepers.

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Carni McCarron- Holmes: ‘It’s a stepping stone’

Fell House in Workington is being put to good use as supported accommodation for vulnerable people at risk of homelessness.

It is part of the Government’s No Second Night Out initiative, which aims to put an end to people sleeping on the streets.

Allerdale Council has teamed up with the Croftlands Trust to set up two furnished flats at Fell House. The building has been empty and out of use for more than two years.

It will house those in need as part of a two-year pilot scheme funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The flats will be used for singles adults who are either homeless already or at risk of sleeping rough.

However, they would not have to be classed as a priority need under homelessness legislation.

The council says that as well as providing much needed short-term accommodation, the scheme also funds an on-site support worker.

The support worker will help tenants find more suitable and permanent living arrangements.

Carni McCarron Holmes, Allerdale Council’s executive member for housing, said: “The council’s Reducing Poverty strategy has supporting vulnerable people at its heart and the Fell House project is just another strand of this important work. Many people, often through circumstances beyond their control, can find themselves in difficult positions where they need short-term support.

“Fell House is not designed to be a permanent solution – it’s simply a stepping stone to help people get their lives back on track.”

Allerdale Council works with the Croftlands Trust to provide specialist support to people with mental health issues.

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