New centre for the homeless is opened in Elm Grove in Southsea by Portsmouth City Council
A NEW multi-million pound support centre for rough sleepers and people at risk of homelessness has been opened in Southsea.
The Portsmouth Rough Sleeping Hub has been built in one of three former student accommodation blocks bought by Portsmouth City Council in March.
Funded through a £4.6m government grant, the centre will provide a range of advice and support services as well as food, showers and a postal address.
Councillor Darren Sanders, the council's cabinet member for housing, said the hub's opening was 'an exciting step'.
"Time and again, people sleeping rough have told us that what they really need is support, not just a place to live,' he said. 'This new hub will provide life-changing help for those that want it, helping them to take the vital next steps into more permanent accommodation.'
The centre at Kingsway House will be run by the Society of St James.
Trevor Pickup, its chief executive, said the facility would 'build on' the support the charity already offers.
'[The] Society of St James is committed to working in a flexible way with people from a range of backgrounds to support them to sustain their accommodation and to regain their place in the community,' he said. 'We look forward to working with the council to have a real impact in the city.'