The Northampton Hope Centre is now opening on Saturday's to offer support the town's homeless community - thanks to additional funding given by three trusts.
After donations from the Eric Stanton Northampton Trust, Phillips Charitable Trust and St Giles Charity Estates - the trusts have made it possible for the Hope Centre to open on Saturdays, starting from today (July 14), and can be accessed by the town's homeless community from 9.30am – 12.30pm.
People who are sleeping rough over the weekend, or have no fixed abode, can today access showers, have clean underwear and clothing.
Food and drink will be available too along with the internet café, access to watch TV and join in with social activities.
“The additional Saturday opening means we can offer support to those who need it most and help support them over what otherwise is a very long and lonely weekend,” said day centre manager Lee Coyle.
The Hope Centre offers help to vulnerable people who are in unstable accommodation by providing services such as food and clothing to people in extreme poverty and with complex disadvantage, including problems of homelessness, drugs and alcohol and mental health.
Their aim is to help their clients become employable through skills and training.
The Hope Centre is now asking the community to help spread the word and direct homeless people on the streets to Oasis House in Campbell Street where the service operates from.
Hope Centre services user Robert, who didn't want to share his surname, said: “I think opening on Saturday is a great idea, it’s going to really help people who spend a lot of time at the weekend hungry, cold or just alone.
“When you live on the streets, the weekend is such a long and lonely time.
“The Hope Centre opening on a Saturday will just break up those few long days when I have nowhere to go and no one to speak to.”
Oasis House was opened back in 2012 and is part funded by the HCA’s Places of Change and National Affordable Housing program, as well as Northamptonshire County Council Supporting People and NHS Northamptonshire
In addition to accommodation, a range of organisations helping homeless people are also under one roof.
These include the Hope Centre, which has day time drop-in facilities, the NAASH offices, Hope Enterprises, medical services provided by the Maple Access Partnership and the Homeless Forum.