THE DEATH of a regular at Stratford’s Link Project drop-in centre has prompted an emergency meeting to support homeless and vulnerable people in the district.
Bryn Burn was formerly homeless, suffered with mental health issues and was well known to the homeless community and the charities he volunteered with.
He passed away shortly after his involvement with a play Streets Apart, based on the experiences of homeless people in the town, which premiered at Stratford Playhouse at the weekend.
And now fears have been raised for other homeless and vulnerable people in the town while the Stratford District Council-run centre in Waterside remains closed following a safety review.
The centre offers support and advice to rough sleepers, those in temporary housing and people who are socially isolated. This includes access to showering and washing facilities, food and drink and donated clothing.
It has been closed for some six weeks following an incident which raised concerns over the safety of service-users.
The district council is currently considering a draft report of the findings.
Some services are being run from alternate locations but service-users and supporters say access to facilities and food is limited.
Now a number of volunteers are coming together to discuss providing emergency provisions, including food and laundry facilities.
Link Project supporter Jackie Lines said: “The delay on decisions about the replacement of the Link and the lack of an emergency provision has taken its toll and we are in a crisis situation. In a wealthy town like ours it is unbelievable that we have people sleeping in car parks and starving hungry, nowhere to shower and no access to clean clothes.
“In the space of 12 hours work I managed to put in place more things than the agencies paid for out of tax payers money have achieved in seven weeks.”
The group is holding a meeting to discuss support plans for the Link service users alongside a memorial for Bryn at the United Reform Church on Rother Street at 1pm today (Thursday).