Community event celebrates multi-million pound homeless centre half-way milestone

Yonis Ali (17), Lisa White (WM Housing), Martin Malone (Arts Space), Manoj Janjuha (17), Ruta Taskinaite (17), Cllr Jim O'Boyle.


Wednesday, ?24 September 2014 

A community partner day has been held to mark the latest milestone in the development of a state-of-the-art centre in Hillfields which will provide accommodation and support to local homeless people.

More than 25 people from a range of organisations across the city came together to carry out a litter pick, plant flowerbeds and build walls. Those attending included representatives from Whitefriars Housing, Wates Living Space, West Mercia Fire Service, Coventry Community Safety Partnership, Staffordshire and West Midlands Community Rehabilitation Probation Company and BM3 Architects.

The building, being developed by Whitefriars Housing and Wates Living Space, is on a former industrial site on Adelaide Street. Once complete it will provide 61 studios and two one-bedroom apartments. As well as being a safe place to stay, the building will offer support and training for residents to help them out of the cycle of homelessness and address the underlying issues for their accommodation needs.

The work, which was completed thanks to donations from Wickes,  Beechwood Trees, Tom White Waste and  A-Plant Hire , marks the half-way stage of the build, which has already seen the foundations laid and the steel structure constructed. .Work on the roof will start next month with full completion of the project expected in Spring 2015.

Catherine Collis, assistant director at Whitefriars Housing, said: “Progress on the site is going well and it’s great to see the physical changes taking place. The vision is now fast becoming a reality. This partnership facility will see a real change in Coventry’s homelessness approach and will help ensure that some of our most vulnerable residents get support to not only avoid sleeping in unsafe places, but also address the reasons why they need emergency accommodation.  

“The community event was a real celebration of the partnership and just another example of what can be achieved by all of us working together. The work completed will keep the site looking good as building work continues and also encourage site safety by improving the boundaries around the construction work.”

Stewart Reid, Business Director at Wates Living Space, said: “This community event was a valuable way in which to mark the half way point on this project and use this significant milestone to enhance the local environment. 

“We will now continue apace in order to maintain our on time, on budget delivery of this project and enable Whitefriars to provide vital support and accommodation to its most vulnerable residents from Spring next year." 

Residents must sign up to an intensive support programme in order to access the on-site accommodation and facilities, which will help them achieve future independent living and employment opportunities.

Gateway has been part-funded by a £2.1million grant from the Government’s Homes and Communities Agency.

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