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HOMELESS MARCH ON SALFORD CITY COUNCIL
 

Star date: 28th July 2011

MONDAY MARCH TO STOP SALFORD COUNCIL KICKING HOMELESS ONTO STREETS 

March from Lancaster House to Salford Civic Centre
Monday August 1st 10:30am
Demonstration at noon Salford Civic Centre

Homeless people and their supporters are to march on Salford City Council next Monday when councillors will make a decision on whether to cut funding for Lancaster House, which supports vulnerable people in the city.

2,500 people have already signed a petition against the cuts to the homeless people's support house and there will be a demo at noon outside Salford Civic Centre which everyone is urged to attend.

Full details here


"We ask that the citizens of Salford support us…and that Lancaster House should be allowed to continue to serve Salford and vulnerable people in the area"

With money coming out of its ears for `prestige' projects like MediaCityUK, Salford Reds rugby club and Chapel Street (see here), Salford Council seems quite comfortable cutting financial support to Lancaster House, which not only helps homeless people with a room and a roof, but also helps them to move forward in their lives.

At a meeting to be held in secret next Monday (August 1st 1pm) the Council will make a final decision on whether to cut funding to Lancaster House - which will result in the possibility of 38 homeless, vulnerable people being kicked out onto the streets.

Salford Council argues that the cut in funding is "strategically necessary" but Positive Lifestyles, which runs Lancaster House and other facilities has produced some powerful statistics to argue its case…

 With the support Lancaster House gives its residents, they move forward to getting their own accommodation after an average of just two and half months, compared to a local average of over six months and a national average of around two years.

• Positive Lifestyles has offered to make £190,800 in savings across its facilities which would make the cost of support just £75.71p per week, half of the national average cost.

• On top of the 38 people affected by any closure of Lancaster House another 38 people will be also be affected in other projects, making a total of 76 homeless people losing facilities. Salford Council new scheme is only proposing support to only 20 people – leaving 56 people possibly on the streets.

• Over the last 15 months, Lancaster House has had £250,000 invested in refurbishments to the property, while Salford Council itself and Positive Lifestyles have invested a further £51,000 in support services for residents.

• If Lancaster House closes, 14 staff, all Salford residents, will also lose their jobs with a further cost to the Council.

As Lancaster House resident David Allum told the Salford Star in a previous feature (see here) the idea of removing support and accommodation for homeless people in a recession is madness…

"We expect demand to go up" he said "We've seen so many different people come through here – it's not just the people you'd expect, we've had doctors, fire officers, former police officers, civil servants, all sorts, anyone from any walk of life could end up using these services. And when they need them more, the Council wants to cut them."

MARCH AND DEMONSTRATION MONDAY AUGUST 1st
10:30am - March from Lancaster House, Lancaster Road (off Eccles Old Road) to Salford Civic Centre, Chorley Road
Noon – Demonstration outside Salford Council HQ, Civic Centre, Chorley Road, Swinton 

For further details follow Save Lancaster House on Twitter and Facebook.

Sign the I-petition - click here


 

TheChairman wrote
at 5:27:29 AM on Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Well MrExServiceUser, why are we hiding behind names, lets come out and say who we are. If we believe we are right then we will have no problems putting our names to our statements. Although you have probably guessed who I am, I'd stake £50 (actually not anymore ;) ) that I know who you are. For a start there has been no exaggeration of figures. It is 38 residents here plus another 38 from the salvation army. Secondly, BOTH UNITS will go as a result of the councils plans as you would see if you had done your research. Their is plenty of support for those who engage with the project rather than being moody so and so's. The building is hardly disgusting, yes it is dirty at times but anyones house is when 38 people live there. There is a full time cleaner who works here as you well know. There is a full referb underway....must I go on? You obviously have some beef with the project and I wonder under what circumstances you left? Would your argument still be vaid if people knew this? I highly doubt it. TheChairman
 
ExService User wrote
at 12:07:47 AM on Tuesday, August 2, 2011
As an ex service user of this hostel it pains me to say I am in support of the closure so then maybe the residents will get the service, from somwhere else, that is promised by positive lifestyles, but isn't delivered. I find it funny how they exagerate the numbers from 38 residents to 80. I also would love to see the reciepts for all the money they claim to have spent as the place is a mess. They also mention that two units will close which isn't true as there second building next door (Byron House) is funded by housing benefit as all it provides is poor condition self contained flats at a very high rental rate (£150+ per week). They have recently told the residents in this unit that they too will be made homeless if the staff at Lancaster House loose their jobs. Also they are not the only dry house in salford there are two others that I know of and they are run much better. It seems to me that all they care about is there jobs. They pretend that they have the residents situation at heart but from somone who as actually lived there I know this isn't true. There is little if no support. They claim to offer training and employment support. This entails telling residents to go jobcentre and thats where it ends. I know this as I had issues with my benefits and they only seemed interested in if they would get their money not if I had anything to eat. They charge residents £22 a week in a service charge which according to the shelter website is for meals. This service also isn't available. During my stay I dodn't even have a plate or a fork to eat my meals and they couldn't care less. The building is actually disgusting inside and out. They have refurbished some rooms to a livable which I believe they use these to show off to the council. The actual rest of the building is in poor disrepair. The bathrooms are not fit for purpose and you would expect them in a 3rd world country. They also charge for cleaning which is non existant. The areas the staff use are kept clean and well decorated but if you were to see the kitchen that only the residents use you would be sick. They also bill housing benefit for this cleaning and decoration service next door at Byron house but that plave has never seen a paint brush and never gets cleaned and the stench is overbearing. I believe that emergency acccomadation is needed in this city as I required it myself but as a tax payer I don't think companys like positive lifestyles should be given freedom to run such a poor unit. Homeless people are humans too. I would love to see the management live in this hostel for a week and see if their views change. I really hope the council do the right thing as change can only be for the better as hostels don't get worse than this one.
 
teresa rayner wrote
at 2:34:59 AM on Monday, August 1, 2011
everyone should have a roof over their head it is a human right.
 
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