Huge new homeless shelter has been full each night since opening four months ago

A new homeless shelter has been full every single night since it opened some four months ago.

Emmanuel House has welcomed thousands of visitors, around half of which are said to be migrants.

It opened in Nottingham city centre on April 8 as a new pilot project, which came off the back of funding from the Government's Rapid Rehousing Pathway.

Daily Mirror pushed for the scheme during its Mirror on the Street campaign earlier this year, which saw reporters and photographers talk to rough sleepers and the people helping them in Nottingham and 19 other towns and cities around the country.

And Nottingham Post says Emmanuel House gets people "who really have no options".

Graham Bowpitt, a trustee and volunteer at the night shelter, said: "It's fully booked up and people are staying longer.

"About half of those who use the shelter are migrants, Polish migrants and EU migrants and they all have much fewer options than everyone else.

"We often find we get people who really have no options. The local people also have significant support needs and we are often having to support them with drug and alcohol addictions."

Is Jeremy Corbyn 'seizing luxury flats for the homeless'?

A recent BBC interview has led to claims Jeremy Corbyn would seize luxury flats to put homeless people in them.

It sounded a bit like he was saying that. But aides say the reality is more complicated.

Firstly, Mr Corbyn said Labour would "immediately purchase 8,000 properties" to provide a place for homeless people to live.

That's not quite true. In fact, aides say, those homes would continue to be managed by housing associations. But the associations would get enough funding to build a brand-new replacement home for each homeless person they take on.

Secondly, he vowed: "We would give local authorities the power to take over deliberately kept vacant properties."

Aides say he was actually just talking about Labour's 2017 manifesto. That promised to extend Empty Dwelling Management Orders and hike council tax on empty flats. Neither of these involve government taking ownership of private property.

Importantly aides stress that these are two separate policies. The first involves social housing; the second is about private property.

But Emmanuel House has to move locations every four weeks, which can take up to 12 hours to complete.

A moving van transports the beds, sleeping bags and other supplies between venues such as churches and leisure centres.

The volunteers and support workers at the night shelter have helped 21 people into long-term accommodation in just 16 weeks.

Mr Bowpitt, 66, added: "A lot of the time people are here because of diminishing support services and it is even more complex to access the support.

"We have a navigator and support workers and everyone who comes here gets a support plan.


"The support workers talk to them about their needs and provide a risk assessment. They can have a bed at the shelter and the only condition is that they engage with their support plan.

"At the moment we open at 10pm and people can have a snack like soup and coffee. But we cannot take all newcomers so we have a reserve list, and we refer them back to Framework's street outreach so they can find somewhere else.

"It's not easy and it's not straightforward and mental health issues are becoming more prevalent."

The charity's chief executive, Denis Tully, said the number of beds being taken up has "increased" in the short time it has been open.



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