Aylesbury homeless winter shelter proposed

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Plans for a shelter to protect Aylesbury’s homeless from the winter cold have been submitted to the district council.

The Aylesbury Homeless Action Group wants to create the night shelter with six beds to be used from January to March at an empty industrial unit in Pembroke Road.

Should the scheme be a success, the group would like to set up a permanent night shelter in the town.

David Dickason, the group’s operations director, said: “If they were out in the streets and the temperature was sub-zero there would be a good chance that some people would die or it would affect their health.

“In previous years different churches have had a shelter each night. This would create one venue where there would be permanent management. It would remove the problem of people having to move from place to place.

“This is a pilot project. Ultimately we would like to have a permanent night shelter in Aylesbury if it goes well.”

Recent counts have found four homeless people in the town, but the group believes there are more who are either not found or stay with friends.

The shelter would provide an evening meal for people staying there and workers could give various forms of assistance.

The group could also arrange for more elderly and vulnerable people who have nowhere to stay to spend a night at a bed and breakfast.

Anyone wishing to stay at the shelter would have to be vetted by Aylesbury Vale District Council and the police.

Mr Dickason said: “We don’t want people in there with previous convictions for serious crimes. People are thoroughly checked.”

The council has until January 9 to decide on the application.

To find out more about the project and volunteering visit the Aylesbury Homes Action Group website.