VIDEO: New beds for Harrogate's homeless

VIDEO: New beds for Harrogate's homeless

Published at 7:27am 5th July 2016. (Updated at 6:41pm 5th July 2016)

People without a home have spent the first night at new short-term accommodation in Harrogate.

The new extension to the existing Harrogate Homeless Project building on Bower Street is designed to provide emergency shelter for those who would otherwise be sleeping on the streets.

The extension, housing two rooms with three new beds, was officially launched by the Mayor and Council Leader Richard Cooper to mark the charity's 25th anniversary.

It's been commissioned and paid for by Harrogate Borough Council which owns the building and let it to the project for a peppercorn rent.

Geoff Webber, Chairman of the Harrogate Homeless Project, said: "We are grateful for the continued support of the council, without which homeless people would have nowhere to go.

"The new extension allows us more flexibility for our 'No Second Night Out' scheme which provides emergency shelter for the homeless while we find longer term solutions."

The Harrogate Homeless Project provides hostel accommodation for up to 22 homeless people, with 16 bedrooms at the Bower Street premises and six more in rented houses.

It's also in the process of buying another house to accommodate three more clients, whilst it operates the Springboard daytime drop-in centre behind Wesley Chapel.

The charity's prime aim is to help homeless people to get to a position where they can live productive and independent lives.

Geoff added: "Our annual running costs of £450,000 are subsidised by a grant of £70,000 from the County Council and we have been fortunate to receive other smaller amounts from local councillors' discretionary budgets and voluntary donations.

"Councillor Richard Cooper has generously offered to use his discretionary budget to pay for the furniture for the new extension.

"Taking into account housing benefit paid by our clients, we still need to raise about £200,000 per year from charitable donations.

"I appeal to businesses and individuals to remember our project when they are considering supporting local charities.

"We are also very grateful to many local businesses for donations of food and to local schools at Harvest Festival time.

"We can only provide this service to those less fortunate than ourselves with the backing of the community - please help this worthwhile project."