Homeless shelter could lose base to make way for student flats - The Leamington Observer

Homeless shelter could lose base to make way for student flats

Leamington Editorial 20th Oct, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016   0

VOLUNTEERS at a homeless shelter based at a former Leamington social club fear they could lose the roof over their own head.

The Leamington Winter Support Night Shelter provides food and a bed two nights a week from the Priors Club, next to the Clemens Street canal bridge in Old Town.

But an application has been submitted to demolish the building to make way for a block of 26 student flats.

Siobhan McCabe, spokeswoman for the night shelter, says some 30 vulnerable and homeless people who use the shelter each week will be left with nowhere to go if they have to close.

She told the Observer: “The old Priors Club is the venue out of which we run our operation, very kindly provided to us rent free by the owner of the building. The shelter can only function because we have free use of the building.

“If and when the site is demolished, our dozens of extremely vulnerable guests will have to go an additional two nights a week without a hot meal or a warm and safe place to sleep until we can – hopefully – secure another building.

“This especially concerning as the nights become colder.”

While students and residents have been at loggerheads over the planning application, they have been united in helping people at the shelter. Around 20 volunteers are needed to keep things running smoothly.

Ms McCabe added: “We’re incredibly lucky to have a volunteers who represent a real coming-together of people for a common cause.

“Our volunteer base is split between students and local residents – I’d say around 60 per cent of our current volunteers are students, and the original founders of the organisation are two Warwick University medical students.

“It’s a great example of students contributing to the area they live in.”


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