Homeless hostel bid ‘vital in tough times’

Plans for a homeless hostel in Hemel Hempstead will be submitted to Dacorum Borough Council next month, subject to a public consultation.

The 33-bed shelter, earmarked for The Elms site on Redbourn Road, would be developed using £850,000 worth of central government funding.

DENS fundraising cabaret evening, Tring, April 2013

DENS fundraising cabaret evening, Tring, April 2013

It is expected to open in March 2015 if planning permission is granted.

Councillor Margaret Griffiths, responsible for housing on Dacorum Borough Council, said: “The hostel will feature 24/7 support for homeless people and will offer training, counselling and a range of other services to help people get back on their feet.”

Chief executive of Dacorum homelessness charity DENS Andrew Liversidge says the plans have come at just the right time for the most vulnerable in society, who have been hit hardest by the recent benefit cuts.

He said: “People have a perception of the homeless as being anti-social, but they are just ordinary people whose lives have fallen apart.

“They have lost financial and family support, and don’t have the resources to build their lives back up. This hostel will be one more step along the way to helping people in Dacorum sort their lives out.”

It is hoped DENS, which saw 3,432 visits to its night shelter in the last year, would run the planned hostel. The charity also has a day centre used by more than 400 people.

Plans for the hostel will be displayed at Maylands Business Centre on Tuesday from 5pm to 7.30pm, when council officers, DENS and the project’s architect will answer any questions.

Call the council’s housing development team on 01442 228 000 or email housingdelivery@dacorum.gov.uk for more information.

There’s an exhibition about the work of DENS over the last 10 years is now on show at Hemel Hemsptead’s central library in Combe Street.

You can find out more about the charity here

DENS depends on dedicated volunteers to provide its services – watch the video to find out how you can get involved.