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19 August 2010

Burton homeless shelter launches

Burton homeless shelter launches

Homeless people in Burton will soon get a warm bed for the night in an £800,000 shelter project, as soon as building work is completed.

The Reconnect Project for the homeless was inspired by Burton YMCA, based towards the east of Staffordshire, after locals raised thousands of pounds last Christmas by sampling sleeping on the streets in winter.

The YMCA also recognised a need for the new homeless centre when they began supporting another winter night shelter in 2006, at New Baptist Church. Now the funding for this new project is coming through the Government's Homes and Communities Agency. (HCA)

The Chairman of Burton and District YMCA, Carl Seager said, "I'm delighted the work is now beginning in earnest on the site. We have been waiting for this day for some time. I'm pleased on behalf of the people who have shown such a commitment to tackling homelessness in Burton."

Chief Executive, Paul Laffey, agrees: "I'm confident that all the partners will work to ensure we are ready to open the Reconnect project in early 2011. In the meantime I'm pleased to confirm that New Baptist Church has agreed to operate a temporary winter shelter from November until the James Court facilities are ready, for the fifth year running."

The project is set to make a big difference to services available to homeless people, and the project plans are to encourage residents to regain their independence.

Councillor Richard Grosvenor, Leader of East Staffs Borough Council, said: ''The start of this major project for Burton is a great example of the benefits for local people that can come from partnership work. East Staffordshire Borough Council and the YMCA have always had a tight working relationship and this has really developed during the initial stages of this project. I look forward to being at the opening of the new facility.

A launch to commence the building work took place at the beginning of August. The development is due to be completed in early 2011.