YMCA Cheltenham's new housing plans to help homelessness
PLANS to help deal with Cheltenham's growing homeless problem is still £500,000 short of its target.
But YMCA Cheltenham is determined reach its goal to build a housing project – and is starting its fundraising in earnest.
The organisation said the number of people in the town being accepted as homeless rose by 109 per cent between 2010 and 2011. It rose by a further 78 per cent last year.
The charity is now revamping its services, after demolishing a section of the site in Vittoria Walk last December, which has stood there since 1955.
Sunday and Monday evenings £12.00 per head for an all inclusive meal with Indian and Thai cuisine (normal price £14.50).
Bring this voucher to the restaurant complete with your name and email address on it.
Terms: Expires 31st July
Contact: 01452 223782
Valid until: Wednesday, July 31 2013
And it has starting a new redevelopment project in the centre of the town, which will provide housing for 98 people, instead of the previous 56.
David Wallace, chief executive of YMCA Cheltenham, said: "There have been a lot more people presenting themselves as homeless on the door step."
The new redevelopment will cost £4.1 million. The charity has already raised more than 85 per cent of the money.
Part of the funds came from a £3.3 million grant from the Homes and Communities Agency's Homelessness Change Programme.
The charity has also put in a contribution of £200,000 from its own reserves, but needs another £550,000 to ensure the work is completed on time.
Around £50,000 has been raised through fundraising efforts so far.
Mr Wallace said: "We want to provide accommodation that fits with the expectations of young people these days.
"The accommodation we are knocking down is actually quite old.
"The new units are all en suite, and there are rooms with their own kitchen.
"They are definitely a step up from the old building, and they will be of good quality.
"If you are running an old building, it costs a lot of money to maintain as well, so it will be doing two things at the same time."
The YMCA provides shelter for people aged from 16 to 60, although it concentrates on 16 to 25 year olds.
Volunteers and workers at the charity help find a place for young people to settle, before equipping them with the skills required to find work and live independently.
To help with the fundraising efforts, call the YMCA on 01242 524024.
Among the fundraising events are a Sleep Easy campaign on March 1, which will allow sponsored volunteers to donate while sleeping rough.
There are also place still open for runners to join the London Marathon.