04:16PM, Thursday 02 February 2017
A homeless support group will no longer be involved with the new emergency accommodation shelter in Howarth Road, it has been announced.
The Brett Foundation has been unable to agree the terms of leasing the John West Homeless Shelter and a halfway house in Braywick Road.
The shelter is based in an industrial unit which the Royal Borough said it would lease to the group at a low rate, and was officially opened last month.
A spokeswoman for the group said: “I am very sad to have to let you know that the Brett Foundation has pulled back from their decision to run the homeless shelter.
“It turns out we were unable to agree the terms of a lease that we felt were viable.
“We will wait to see what alternative provisions the council put in place. We will support their efforts wherever possible.
“As always, our sole interest is in the wellbeing of the people who live on the streets of Maidenhead.
“We will continue to do whatever we can to support them and provide for their needs.”
The home had been officially opened by councillors with Sue Brett, founder of the Brett Foundation, on Tuesday, January 17.
Mayor Sayonara Luxton cut the ribbon and leader of the council Simon Dudley was shown around the complex with Sue.
The homeless shelter, named after John West, a rough sleeper who died last year, was designed to provide emergency accommodation to vulnerable people, and the halfway house is intended to provide a longer-term place to stay as they get back on their feet and try to secure employment.
Cllr Dudley, leader of the council, said: “We are hugely disappointed with the news that we have just received that the Brett Foundation has decided not to continue with the emergency shelter and the halfway house.
“While the council has been working on setting up the two services we have ensured local residents who are homeless are accommodated in bed and breakfasts.”
He said the council will now look for ‘a new partner’ to provide services at both the shelter and the halfway house.
Cllr Dudley added: “In the meantime we will continue to provide support and shelter for local homeless people to protect them when the weather is at its worse.
“As a council we are determined to provide support for everyone and continue to build a borough for everyone.
“We thank the Brett Foundation for working with us to establish the two services and we know that the foundation volunteers will continue to support the local community.”
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