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Winter Night Shelter for Homeless could become a reality within weeks 25 October 2007

The Department of Health and Social Security today announced that a Winter Night Shelter for Homeless at Kingswood House, Harris Terrace, could be operational within weeks, if a planning application is successful.

Hon W E Teare MHK, Minister for Health and Social Security said,

“As I said in Tynwald last week, two properties were being assessed, which met the requirements for the shelter. After consultation between senior Government Officials and members of the voluntary sector, this has now been narrowed down to one property. I am very pleased we have been able to locate suitable premises so quickly, before the full effects of winter are upon us. By working together with service providers, procedures have been established that will enable the shelter to be open very soon, after planning consent is received. The speed with which the Department and the voluntary sector have been able to act in this matter demonstrates the effectiveness of establishing a multi agency task force to tackle social issues such as this.”

Mr Teare added,

“The volunteers at Broadway Baptist Church are doing excellent work and I am delighted that we are able to support them in their efforts for the homeless. I would also like to thank Hon J P Shimmin, Minister for Local Government and the Environment, for his assistance and hard work in this matter.”

The proposed property, Kingswood House on Harris Terrace, is a detached building owned by the Department of Health and Social Security and is currently not in use.

A spokesperson for Kemmyrk, the organisation for tackling homelessness on the Isle of Man, said,

“We are delighted at the speed in which the Department of Health and Social Security have acted in making this very important premises available. Kemmyrk are extremely grateful to all in Government for their continued commitment to the islands homeless, and particularly to Mr Teare and the Department of Health and Social Security, who have worked with us to achieve this result.

A spokesperson for Griah, the name adopted by the volunteers who operate the Isle of Man’s current homeless facilities at Broadway Baptist Church, said,

“We are very pleased the Government is supporting the Island’s homeless in this way, and we praise the work being carried out. Griah will continue to support the Island’s homeless in the new premises.”

Andrew Swithinbank, Director of Social Services said,

“My colleges and I would like to pay tribute to the dedicated work of people from Griah, and Kemmyrk, and other voluntary organisations, who continue to do so much for the Isle of Man’s homeless with little regard or recognition.”

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