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Location confirmed for Temporary Winter Housing project and new day centre

The Council’s scheme to house rough sleepers during the winter months will this year be based at the former Riverside School site off Queens Drive.

Published: Friday, 7th September 2018

In addition, a day centre will run for three years at the same location, acting as a safe space for some of the town’s most vulnerable people.

Over a four-month period, when the weather is at its most severe, an identified group of homeless people in Swindon will be given shelter and close personal support in an effort to secure permanent accommodation.

The Temporary Winter Housing Provision scheme was a big success last year, with the majority of participants completing the programme and not returning to the streets.

The former Riverside School was chosen as the base for the day centre and Temporary Winter Housing scheme on the grounds that it would provide a hub for homelessness organisations and charities to operate from, and that it would act as a first point of contact to access services such as mental health provision, health care and drug and alcohol support.

It is in walking distance to the town centre, where the majority of the client group regularly visit, and the Council will be looking to commission a service provider to take on the lease and run the project over the next three years.

The building will house male and female bedrooms, a living, dining and socialising area and suitable bathroom facilities. There are a number of offices that can be used for private meetings and the day centre can be hosted in the annex, which will have space for activities to take place.

The building has only recently been vacated, meaning that the building only requires a minimum amount of work to make it suitable to use as a day centre.

Councillor Cathy Martyn, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Public Safety, said: “We are confident that we have chosen the right location to host this important and beneficial programme.

“We are also delighted to be able to use the building as a day centre for the next three years, which will be able to provide the support that some of our most vulnerable people so desperately need.

“Each year, the Council spends £1.4m on ensuring that those who need emergency or short-term accommodation are housed. With the Temporary Winter Housing Provision and the day centre, we are focusing on more long-term housing solutions by getting vulnerable people into permanent accommodation.”

Further details of when the scheme will be up and running, as well as any volunteering opportunities, will be announced over the coming weeks.

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