MP visits Salvation Army hostel in Huntingdon amid future funding fears

Sarah-Jane Gregory, chaplain, Jessica Nix, resident, MP Jonathan Djanogly, Jade Horner, resident, an

Sarah-Jane Gregory, chaplain, Jessica Nix, resident, MP Jonathan Djanogly, Jade Horner, resident, and Nathan Bright, of the Salvation Army. Picture: ARCHANT. - Credit: Archant

Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly paid a visit to the Salvation Army homeless hostel amid fears over future funding.

Mr Djanogly spent the morning with staff and residents at Kings Ripton Court Lifehouse on November 10 to hear how changes in government funding could prevent The Salvation Army hostel from continuing to provide specialist supported housing to young people experiencing homelessness in and around Huntingdon.

During his visit, the Huntingdon MP chatted with three Kings Ripton Court residents Jessica Nix, Rachel Harwin and Jade Horner about the circumstances that had brought them to the centre and how its staff and volunteers were helping them to gain the confidence, life skills and emotional support to help them on the road to living independently.

After touring the centre’s private accommodation and communal spaces with centre manager Alison Metcalf; Mr Djanogly also heard The Salvation Army’s assistant regional manager for homelessness, Captain Alison Greer’s concerns for the future of Lifehouses such as Kings Ripton Court.

Captain Greer said: “We are very pleased that Mr Djanogly took the time to come and see the vital work that’s done here to help young people with a variety of complex needs find a route out of homelessness. I am especially pleased he was able to hear our three service users’ very personal accounts of their experiences here.

“I’m hopeful that he now understands how the proposals to fund supported housing through local council grants leaves us in such as precarious position going forward as there are no guarantees that struggling councils will have the ability to meet these costs.”

Kings Ripton Court Lifehouse provides person-centred support with accommodation for 36 young men and women experiencing homelessness, between the ages of 16 and 25.

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The centre provides opportunities for service users to complete a personalised life skills training programme — learning skills such as cooking, budgeting, maintaining a tenancy and looking after a home—to help them successfully move on to living independent lives within the community.

The Salvation Army is a church and charity dedicated to caring for people who are vulnerable or in need. Salvation Army churches are at the heart of the local communities they serve and provide compassionate support, practical help and a warm welcome to anyone visiting them.

Kings Ripton Court is situated at Kings Ripton Road, Huntingdon.