FAMILIES living in a Gosport shelter say it is dangerous for their children.
People at Agnew Family Centre say the council needs to take more precautions over who it lets live there.
It is just too dangerous here. Parents cannot safeguard their own children.Natalie Goulding
The centre, in St Vincent Road, has 55 flats for homeless, vulnerable families and individuals who are waiting to be housed.
But parents say it is dangerous living at the shelter, formally known as Agnew House, which is run by Gosport Borough Council.
Natalie Goulding, who has lived there since February, said: ‘We’ve had paedophiles and drug addicts living here, so it isn’t a safe place. It’s disgusting.
‘Needles are left in the garden and fights break out all the time. The situation is getting worse.
The 23-year-old added: ‘People think us residents are horrible, disgusting people but we aren’t.
‘There needs to be a better system in place to choose who can live here. Ideally, we need a family centre and then a hostel for others on a separate site.
‘It’s just too dangerous here. Parents cannot safeguard their own children.
‘The council needs to pull its finger out and do something.’
Other parents said it doesn’t feel like a family centre and a lot of fights break out.
One mum, who didn’t want to be named, said: ‘They call it a family centre but it isn’t.
‘The children can’t play in the garden with a ball or their bikes and there are fights all the time.
‘Families who live here don’t have a choice and have nowhere else to go. We should be able to feel safe here but we don’t.’
Residents added big problems occur during the evenings and the weekends.
Resident Lloyd Collier, 24, said: ‘The council offers no support on weekends.
‘There are fights here all the time and yet it is meant to be a family centre. The council needs to make it safer.’
But in a statement, the council said Agnew Family Centre has measures in place to keep residents safe. It said the shelter is split into zones and residents only have access to the zones their flat are in.
It added that the council carries out individual risk assessments for all residents prior to their placement.
The council is robustly reviewing all arrangements to avoid any future potential incidents.