Proposed St Mungo's closure

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Monday 1 November 2010 5.12pm
I heard on Friday that St. Mungo's largest project, the Cedars Rd. hostel in Clapham, is in danger of being closed by Lambeth Council. And in the meantime the council's considering a proposal to cut the services the hostel currently offers. The public consultation period is minuscule and any comments need to be in by Nov 5th. This isn't strictly about SE1 but it'll certainly affect us, so I hope James won't object to my posting about it.

Cedars Rd. is home for up to 120 residents, an important part of the current mix of services in the borough, and well equipped to support people with complex needs. Over a recent eighteen month period more than 90 people were helped to make positive moves out of it into supported housing or a place of their own.

If the current proposal's approved, the range of support services provided there, (eg. drug and alcohol treatment, support with mental health issues and help to find a job) will be gone. There's ample evidence that without such services many re-housed people whose original homelessness arose out of particular difficulties in their lives prove unable to cope. As a result they simply return to the streets. So any re-housing provision which fails also to ensure the support services currently provided by St Mungo's will be wasteful of public resources. In economic terms this will be measurable waste. In human terms it'll be incalculable. And we'll see it on our streets.

The current proposal risks leaving the borough without adequate accommodation for the people who need it, and the loss of Cedars Rd. would affect not only Lambeth's homeless but also rough sleepers across London, including, obviously, SE1. If its services must be cut and/or it really has to be closed then, if nothing else, Lambeth council should consult in depth with St Mungo's about alternatives. I've written to the council leader, Steve Reed, and the Divisional Director of Strategy and Commissioning, Adult and Community Services, at Phoenix House 10, Wandworth Rd, SW8 2LL. If anyone else wants to comment as part of the consultation process, time's running out.
Monday 1 November 2010 7.19pm
aoibhneas wrote:
I heard on Friday that St. Mungo's largest project, the Cedars Rd. hostel in Clapham, is in danger of being closed by Lambeth Council. And in the meantime the council's considering a proposal to cut the services the hostel currently offers.

Why? Is it a cost cutting exercise by Lambeth due to the recent government spending cuts?
Tuesday 2 November 2010 12.05pm
I don't know. If so, they're moving fast. But I know that in the past it's been established that the services St. Mungo's provide are value for money and that in the case of the most vulnerable of rough sleepers re-housing without support systems is false economy.
Tuesday 2 November 2010 6.44pm
Maybe they will close the one in the borough if we are lucky
Tuesday 2 November 2010 6.58pm
@aoibhneas - rather than "I heard on Friday that..." can you give a reliable source for the rumour?
Wednesday 3 November 2010 8.26am
Holly wrote:
Maybe they will close the one in the borough if we are lucky

why would it be 'lucky' if the one in the borough was closed ?
Wednesday 3 November 2010 9.02am
susan-charlotte wrote:
Holly wrote:
Maybe they will close the one in the borough if we are lucky

why would it be 'lucky' if the one in the borough was closed ?

I imagine that you don't live next door to one, if you did you wouldn't need to ask that question. Those of us that live in close proximity to a St Mungo's and even agree with the usefulness of their services still have a hard time walking through a bunch of abusive drunken groups of men on a daily basis. I know we need these facilities but it's no use pretending they are going to be a welcome neighbour. Necessary evil is probably my rationalisation, but then I'm not threatened particularly by the groups of men in the same way as I've seen some lone females being harassed.
Wednesday 3 November 2010 10.30am
Rambling Phil - not a rumour ... sorry, I should have said when I posted. My partner and I are on St. Mungo's mailing list.
Wednesday 3 November 2010 11.59am
@aoibhneas - Thanks for the clarification.
Wednesday 3 November 2010 4.37pm
I read the title and hoped it might be the St Mungos in Crimscott Street that was being closed. Alas.

I live in Pages Walk next to Crimscott Street. I think homelessness is something we should continually try to eliminate and I thought of applying to volunteer for St Mungos once, but that was before being rectangularly harassed by drunks using the centre. I know St Mungos have dry and wet hostels, and this one's obviously for the drunks. I've seen them defecating in the street, having sex, and they regularly harass women. I had one this morning walk about 100 meters up the road with me on my way to work continually making disgusting remarks. In these dark nights it's quite intimidating.
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