Page last updated at 07:40 GMT, Friday, 11 September 2009 08:40 UK

Funds cut shuts homeless shelter

Scrine shelter
Paul Todd said the 21-bed shelter provided an essential service

A charity for the homeless in Kent has said more people will be found dead on the streets when funding is withdrawn from its night shelter.

The Scrine Foundation will have to close its 21-bed shelter in Canterbury at the end of October after Kent County Council (KCC) decided to cut its money.

"I fear the streets of Canterbury will have more and more dead people," said project worker Paul Todd.

KCC said it was working with other providers to improve services.

The shelter provides overnight accommodation, an evening meal and breakfast as well as showers, toilets and washing machines.

We provide very basic emergency accommodation which is now seen as unsuitable
Paul Todd

"It may not be much but at least it is somewhere safe and warm and it beats the streets," said Mr Todd.

"Over the course of the year we might see 300 individuals.

"This is a lot of people who would otherwise be begging on the streets of Canterbury or lying around drinking or taking drugs and causing criminal behaviour.

"We provide very basic emergency accommodation which is now seen as unsuitable, but it is essential."

Councillor Graham Gibbens said KCC had been concerned about the quality of Scrine's services for some time.

"The county council's job is to ensure that in this case nearly £600,000 of taxpayers' money is being well spent," he said.

"Our decision does not mean that homeless people will miss out.

"Indeed working with Canterbury City Council and using alternate providers we are ensuring that services continue and improve, especially after the notice period for Scrine runs out."

Scrine has appealed against KCC's decision, which will be reviewed by a senior manager.


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