After reading the Mayor’s column and having worked with the homeless, I felt it was important to correct some minor points. The first night shelter was in 2006 and was open for six weeks in winter every year until 2011, that’s five years in succession not nine. There was no night shelter in 2011 because funding was not available in time. However, the Beacon homeless project stepped in and allowed some of the homeless to take shelter when the weather got really bad.
There was no night shelter in 2011 because the County Council removed £3m of grant from Framework, who along with the Methodist and St Mark’s churches were the main providers and supplied the volunteers for the night shelter at Bath Street. The loss to the homeless provision in Mansfield that was managed by Framework was in the region of £600,000. Thanks to Nottingham City Council money has been provided to provide a night shelter in Mansfield this year. The problem is that the team has identified 14 people and only eight beds will be available.
Owing to further cuts by this coalition government and major changes in benefits this situation can only get a lot worse. So a plea to any people out there who received gloves, woolly hats, scarves and socks for Christmas that they don’t want. I am sure the Sherwood Street Day Centre will take them from you.
Coun John Smart,
Ransom Wood Ward.