£525,000 for homeless unit

PUBLISHED: 11:58 10 April 2008 | UPDATED: 13:08 06 May 2010

A HALF-a-million pound grant has been awarded to a homeless shelter which will help towards an improvement project. The Government have selected Open Door, the emergency night shelter in St Albans, to receive £525,000 under their Places of Change Programm

A HALF-a-million pound grant has been awarded to a homeless shelter which will help towards an improvement project.

The Government have selected Open Door, the emergency night shelter in St Albans, to receive £525,000 under their Places of Change Programme, which aims to help rough sleepers.

St Albans District Council (SADC) submitted the bid in partnership with Hightown Praetorian and Churches Housing Association which manages the night shelter, and it was one of just six projects in the region to successfully secure funding from Housing Minister Caroline Flint.

The redevelopment project at the shelter in Bricket Road, which will cost around £930,000 in total, will see the existing dormitory provision replaced and new training facilities introduced.

Open Door will continue with its fundraising efforts for the remainder of the sum required for the improvements.

Hightown chief executive David Bogle said: "We hope to introduce separate accommodation for clients which will help to promote dignity and self-esteem. We want to support homeless people to gain the self-confidence necessary to access housing and employment by introducing daytime training and education activities involving internet and computer access, as well as taster sessions in an educational setting."

Karen Dragovic, the district council's head of housing, added: "This is good news for the district. It will help not only to improve the accommodation for single people at Open Door but also the services available to homeless people to help them access permanent housing and employment opportunities.

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