"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