Homeless shelter receives £1m refurbishment just in time for Christmas

Basingstoke Gazette: from l-r: Peter Walters, Phil Raybould, Derek Streek, Abi Benham and Nathan Stolborg from l-r: Peter Walters, Phil Raybould, Derek Streek, Abi Benham and Nathan Stolborg

HOMELESS people in Winchester will not just be celebrating Christmas when they move into new quarters for the festive season.

Milford House, on Christchurch Road, has re-opened after it received a big injection of funds for renovation works which housing association officials said could not have come at a more important time.

Rooms and much-needed facilities were refurbished after local housing association First Wessex invested over £1m for the works, to help support the housing scheme.

Charity Crisis has claimed homelessness has risen by 31 per cent over the past year and bed spaces in hostels for single homeless people, such as Milford House, have decreased by 10 per cent over the past three years.

Residents enjoyed a festive celebration, complete with carols from the Southampton Philharmonic Choir and handmade mince pies, and showed off their new digs when local partners came along for a sneak preview.

Chief executive of First Wessex, Peter Walters, said: “With the current economic climate and the housing shortage, there is a higher need for people to access schemes such as Milford House. First Wessex has run this essential scheme in Winchester since 2000. The refurbishment works have brought some much needed improvements to the building which we hope will enable us to continue to provide this essential service for many years to come.”

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