A NEW housing centre in Stratford is preparing to open its doors to those facing homelessness and hardship.
The Fred Winter Centre – a ‘Housing Plus’ community hub based at the former Fred Winter department store in Birmingham Road – is scheduled to open in September this year.
The centre and its services will be available to tenants, people visiting or referred to the centre, and those in the community at risk of homelessness or facing hardship.
The hub will provide accommodation to those living in temporary placements provided by Stratford District Council (SDC). Those offered a property will have access to onsite support to help overcome challenges and barriers in hope of breaking the cycle of repeat homelessness.
The ‘Housing Plus’ services will be provided by local charities and agencies covering housing and money advice, physical and mental health, substance misuse, skills training and access to work experience. The organisations involved include Springfield Mind, CA South Warwickshire, Change Grow Live, Orbit Better Days, St Basils, Department for Work and Pensions and P3.
It will also be the new home of the Stratford Foodbank and the centre plans to house a community cafe and bakery.
The project is being led by Spring Housing Association, which a track record of tackling homelessness across the Midlands and has been backed financially by SDC, the town council, Warwickshire County Council and Stratford Town Trust. It is also being supported by local charities, health agencies and voluntary bodies who work with rough sleepers and other homeless people in the district.