Last days for Gloucester's night shelter
HOMELESS charity GEAR will now focus attention on its other services in the city as the doors on the Llanthony Road night shelter prepare to close for good.
Tomorrow will be the final day of the shelter run by the Gloucestershire Emergency Accommodation Resource project as new provider P3 prepares to take over the county provision.
GEAR has a newly-expanded county-wide outreach service and continues to provide an award-winning health clinic, day centre and 'dry house' and support for drug and alcohol users.
Latest figures show GEAR project workers helped 948 people in the ten months from April 1, 2012 to January.
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Those needing help were either homeless, or vulnerably housed.
Chief executive of the charity, Brian Jones, said it will prioritise building on an established service.
"The night shelter closes tomorrow and for GEAR there are other major roads to be travelled and explored," he said.
"GEAR Projects exist to relieve sickness, poverty and distress amongst the most vulnerably housed and the homeless and rough-sleeping population of Gloucestershire.
"It averages new contacts with nearly 100 people every month.
"These people attend the facilities within the Vaughan Centre."
New research shows the effectiveness of the award-winning health clinic which gave consultations to 75 per cent of the attendees, with 768 people having 10,200 consultations with the doctor, nurse or healthcare assistant.
The night shelter is closing because of a 'revolving door syndrome' where people leave and return, that was seen as a failing.
Gloucestershire County Council will now split funding for emergency beds for the homeless between Cheltenham and Gloucester.
New service provider P3 will provide two new hostels with 14 beds, and 17 more across the county.
The two charities are working together to ensure a smooth transition of homeless provision in Gloucester and the rest of the county.
Mark Simms, Deputy Chief Executive of P3, said: "This is a completely new approach in Gloucestershire and I'm delighted to be able to bring our successful and award winning approach to the area. I want to thank GEAR for everything they have already done for homeless people in the county.
"I'm 100 per cent committed to working closely with them in future to ensure we can make a real and lasting impact on people's lives."