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New emergency homeless centre to open in Maidenhead next week

A new ‘emergency accommodation’ centre for rough sleepers will open on Tuesday, the Royal Borough has announced, after investing £200,000 in a homeless relief project.

John West House, named after a homeless man who died last year, will be based in a unit in Howarth Road and provide support and a place to sleep from October to March every year.

The unit will be leased to the Brett Foundation at low rent, and will have nine beds, a kitchen and shower facilities, and a space to provide training to other residents who need assistance.

Cllr Simon Dudley, leader of the council, said: "When I became leader of the Royal Borough in May 2016, I slept rough and knew we had to do more to help the homeless.

“This is a clear example of how we will build a borough for everyone, and ensure that no one gets left behind.”

The Royal Borough is also leasing the Brett Foundation a four-bed halfway house in Braywick Road following a renovation, which will allow former rough sleepers to search for jobs and receive further support.

Cllr Dudley continued: “We’re pleased to have achieved our aim of using council buildings to provide support and shelter for local homeless people to protect them when the weather is at its worst.

“The Brett Foundation can now offer warm accommodation for our residents in the short term and also have another base from which to offer longer term support to help homeless residents to find stability in their lives.”

The emergency accommodation centre and halfway house refits were paid for with section 106 money, a method of funding community and social infrastructure.

A total of £170,000 was invested in the Howarth Road centre and £30,000 was spent on the Braywick Road house.

Rough sleepers and those at risk of homelessness can contact council staff at the Town Hall in St Ives Road, Maidenhead, or York House in Sheet Street, Windsor.

The shelter is also looking for volunteers. Email susanbrett4@aol.co.uk if you are interested or contact 07582158849

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