Three extra emergency shelters were launched this winter in the county, in line with Worcestershire’s Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP), including in Malvern’s Salvation Army base in Newtown Road.
These facilities open their doors to rough sleepers when the temperature drops below zero – however, since the protocol was first put in place this winter on November 8, no-one has accessed the Malvern shelter.Oops!
Campaign group Hugo’s Earthquake have criticised plans to launch Maggs Malvern Day Centre – which will cost £25,000 just to set up – and instead want more funding put into reinstating a “comprehensive outreach service”.They seem to have a good case, too:
A grant application for the centre cited the 735 food vouchers redeemed from Malvern Foodbank – many of which were repeat visits – suggests more than 100 accommodated people will benefit from the pilot scheme, on top of any rough sleepers who reside in Malvern.
But Mr Jeffery said: “Foodbank use is not a reliable evidence base for street homeless numbers, so why is this used in a business case?”Why, indeed? Is it because these things don't get proper scrutiny?
“İt is clear that there is no evidence that rough sleepers are attracted to Malvern because of services and this is backed up furthermore by no rough sleepers attending the SWEP shelters.
“The HEC does not believe a Maggs Centre is needed in Malvern, but instead we continue to call for reinstatement of the comprehensive outreach service which functions across the county,” he added.Hard to disagree. It seems 'Field of Dreams' was wrong, sometimes you build it and no-one comes!