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Fox Street night shelter under threat after Methodist Action goes into liquidation

Posted on - 22nd August, 2019 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Preston City Centre, Preston News
The former BHS store in Preston city centre regularly has people sleeping rough in the doorways Pic: Tony Worrall
The former BHS store in Preston city centre regularly had people sleeping rough in the doorways Pic: Tony Worrall

The Fox Street night shelter is under threat after news the charity Methodist Action has gone into liquidation.

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The Fox Street Community houses up to 20 homeless men in supported accommodation for up to two years at a time, to help them get back on their feet.

But last week the charity which runs the shelter, Methodist Action, announced it had gone into liquidation – leaving a question mark hanging over the facility.

Reacting to the news, Jeff Marsh, the CEO of the Foxton Centre, which provides services for the homeless, said: “It is bad news. For a long established charity to go to the wall is quite upsetting.

“It is really early days but everyone will want to do their best for the people who are most important – the beneficiaries.”

The Foxton Centre is currently setting up a Homeless Hub to provide a triage service for those who present as homeless in Preston. The hub will provide access to medical and social care assessment at the point of contact – however it does not provide long term accommodation.

Read more: PNE star Louis Moult rolls up his sleeves at the Foxton Centre

Jeff said: “Methodist Action was due to provide 50 units of accommodation, scattered around the city, for people to move onto when they have started on the homeless pathway with us.

“There is a grant from the Ministry of Housing to provide that, but if Methodist Action are not going to be the providers it will have to be reallocated.

“It will come together, but there are a lot of discussions going on.”

The shelter is owned by the Central Methodist Church, and discussions are in place between the church, the council and homeless services to determine the future of the 40-year-old facility.

Read more: Rough sleeping action is welcomed in Preston

As well as running the Fox Street Community, Methodist Action acts as a social housing lettings association, providing long term lettings to renters who may struggle to secure a private tenancy.

Councillor Nweeda Khan, Cabinet Member for Communities and Social Justice said: “Preston City Council will be working closely with Methodist Action North West and any other partner agencies during the next few weeks, to minimise the impact to tenants in Preston.”

Methodist Action has been approached for comment.

Blog Preston is supporting the Big Sleep Out in November, to help raise funds for a house for homeless people in Preston. For more information, see Big PNE Sleepout Meeting to be held at the Foxton Centre.

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