Leicester’s Homelessness Services Are Under Attack Again!

The people of Leicester have fought long and hard to defend vital public services in our city, and in 2013, I was proud to be part of one such successful campaign that opposed £2.2 million cuts to our city’s homeless service provision. Led by homeless people, but supported by many others, an ad hoc collective calling itself Streetlife Action Group — which used to meet at the Dawn Centre – successfully forced the Councils hand, ensuring that £1 million of the proposed Council cuts never took place.

At the time of this earlier campaign, one of the homeless services that the Council planned to cut, but were eventually forced to keep, was the family support service and Corner Club located at Border House — a homelessness hostel on the outskirts of the city. But now we read in yesterday’s Leicester Mercury (February 22) that the Council intends not just to cut the Corner Club, but to close the entire hostel!

At present Leicester only has two hostels offering temporary emergency accommodation, and the Mercury article explained that the Council estimates that they will save £675,000 a year by closing Border House – a hostel that is currently home to 79 people. The excuse for closing the much-need facility is that it “requires ‘significant investment’ to make the building fit for future use – given recent improvements required after a fire safety inspection.” So, the question must be asked, why doesn’t the Council simply make the necessary capital investments to enable the hostel to stay open? Afterall they have millions in their capital reserves that could be used to make such much-needed rennovations.

Border House

 

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