A homeless prevention centre has opened in Chorlton in place of a former residential home refurbished to provide 38 beds for Manchester’s displaced.
The Longford Centre on Edge Lane, Chorlton is a temporary haven for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, monitored round the clock by support staff.
At a cost of £70,000, the former residential home, already owned by Manchester City Council has been refurbished to include two communal kitchens, living areas and a computer room.
Since December (2017) volunteers from the community have helped clean and decorate the former residential home in time to open for Manchester’s homeless.
Stephanie Moore from community support group, Reach Out, said: “I am really pleased that this centre has now opened.
“It will prevent many people ending up homeless as this type of early help and support is crucial when people for whatever reason find themselves in difficulty.”
But not all residents were happy when the council originally announced its plans.
Monika Christie, 24, of Chorlton said when plans were first announced, locals weren’t convinced by the council’s decision to turn it into a homeless centre.
“Initially I thought there would be a rise in crime. We made sure that during the consultation phase, the council knew what we wanted.
“CCTV was one of things we asked for to make sure we could all feel safe in our neighbourhood – obviously it’s still in early days and only time will tell how it’s going to go.
“It’s still a major change to our area and it’s going to take a lot of time to get used, especially those who have lived here for quite a while.”
In October (2017) Manchester City Council submitted their planning application for a change of use in the building but the approving decision letter said CCTV needed to be installed before it opened.
Cllr Bernard Priest, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council said the new centre was an ‘important’ part of the council’s strategy in tackling homelessness across Manchester.
“We can help people when they first fall into difficulty and ensure that they get the support they need very quickly without having to work about having a roof over their heads.”
The Longford Centre will be run by Manchester City Council and will receive partial funding from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).
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