Inside the new base that offers help and support to Gosport homeless people, veterans, vulnerable adults and more

PEOPLE from all walks of life who need some extra support and advice are being welcomed with open arms to a new multi-agency day centre.

Thursday, 29th October 2020, 11:49 am
The Centre has been opened by GBC and Caritas Diocese of Portsmouth as the next step in helping the homeless in Gosport. Pictured: Staff, Heather Whitewood with her granson, Logan 2, Natalie Matthews with her children, Evie and Alice, Cllr Kathleen Jones and project coordinator, Gary Walker outside The Centre on 28 October 2020. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Helping homeless people, veterans, vulnerable adults and more, The Centre in Gosport which opened last week is the next stage of the successful Open Doors project.

Help and support is being provided in many ways as part of the programme spearheaded by Caritas, the Catholic diocese, from a simple cup of tea to interview training, arts and crafts and more.

It aims to provide everything under one roof, with 15 groups currently involved and more joining all the time.

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The Centre has been opened by GBC and Caritas Diocese of Portsmouth as the next step in helping the homeless in Gosport. Pictured: GV of The Centre on 28 October 2020. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Acts of Kindness has been providing food since March to the Open Doors project, and is currently looking for a 2,000ft industrial unit to store their items so they can keep up the great support through the winter.

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Kerry Snuggs, founder of Acts of Kindness, said: ‘I think it’s fantastic. The multi-agency approach is absolutely perfect which is why we were so keen to be involved.

‘To have it all in one place means all the agencies can talk to each other. It’s quite exciting going forward to see what will happen.’

The Centre has been opened by GBC and Caritas Diocese of Portsmouth as the next step in helping the homeless in Gosport. Pictured: Some of the food donated to The Centre on 28 October 2020. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Hot drinks and food are available to people using the centre, as well as help with interview techniques, smart clothes for interviews, starter packs for when they are housed and more.

Remaining anonymous, a rough sleeper who uses the services at The Centre told The News: ‘At the moment I’m facing street homelessness and knowing a place like this is here has made my life easier. All the members of staff here are so supportive and friendly and know exactly what to do.

‘I have recently started doing the arts and crafts in here, being a recovering drug addict it helps me a lot.

‘I honestly believe if it wasn’t for these people I would be dead right now. It makes me feel good there are people out there who are willing to care for us, I can’t fault them.’

Gary Walker, who co-ordinates The Centre, said: ‘That’s what makes it worthwhile. The difference it makes to these people, that’s what it’s all about. Sometimes all they need is someone to listen to them.’

The Centre at 137 High Street, Gosport, is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10.30am to 3.30pm.

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