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More work for homeless centre

PUBLISHED: 10:40 17 April 2009 | UPDATED: 13:31 24 August 2010

Busier than ever: Cricklewood Homeless Concern

Busier than ever: Cricklewood Homeless Concern

by Nadia Sam-Daliri A homeless advice drop-in service has celebrated its first birthday. Staff at Cricklewood Homeless Concern said the economic down-turn has led to an influx of customers at their centre in Ashford Road, Cricklewood in r

by Nadia Sam-Daliri

A homeless advice drop-in service has celebrated its first birthday.

Staff at Cricklewood Homeless Concern said the economic down-turn has led to an influx of customers at their centre in Ashford Road, Cricklewood in recent months.

Brent Council funds a weekly service in the centre for single people who are at risk of ending up on the streets, which has now helped more than 1,400 people since its launch last March.

Charlotte Curran, CHC's housing director, said: "We've definitely seen an increase in the numbers of people coming to us for help since the recession. Our services have a two-fold effect as the time spent training reduces risk of depression and keeps people's skills up to date. It's amazing how quickly people can become de-skilled. Volunteering can help keep their training and confidence up."

CHC was started in 1983 to help Irish immigrants who had fallen on hard times after the construction industry dried up, but branched out to many other ethnic groups in the area.

Brent Council is one of many authorities which helps keep CHC afloat and their drop-in slot deals with eviction, unemployment, relationship breakdown and drug abuse.

Housing officers carry out one-to-one interviews with clients and sometimes refer them to job centres or other advice services.

Cllr James Allie, lead member for housing and customer services, said: "The service has had fantastic commitment from the voluntary sector and is already showing significant results shown by better rough sleeper intervention and the number of referrals it has been making."

Brent's housing list is one of the biggest in the UK, with more than 17,000 people waiting for a permanent home.

The service is held at CHC every Wednesday from 2 to 4pm.

For information contact the Single Homeless Advice Service co-ordinator Tahmina Aziz on 020 8937 1784.

nadia.sam-daliri@archant.co.uk


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