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Million pound donation to Ilford homeless shelter set to transform lives of residents and rough sleepers

PUBLISHED: 12:21 10 October 2017 | UPDATED: 13:58 10 October 2017

L to R: Naomi Clifton, Mike Broom, Helen Morris, Mankamal Singh, Captain John Clifton, Mohammed Omer, Cllr Keith Prince, and Cllr Jas Athwal, at the launch of Project Malachi, on 29th July, 2017. Picture: Catherine Davison

L to R: Naomi Clifton, Mike Broom, Helen Morris, Mankamal Singh, Captain John Clifton, Mohammed Omer, Cllr Keith Prince, and Cllr Jas Athwal, at the launch of Project Malachi, on 29th July, 2017. Picture: Catherine Davison

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A new homeless shelter in the centre of Ilford is set to offer a lifeline for Redbridge residents stuck in temporary accommodation.

Shipping container development in Ealing (credit: John Clifton) Shipping container development in Ealing (credit: John Clifton)

Through Project Malachi, which will be run by Ilford Salvation Army, a pop-up hostel will offer a home to long-term rough sleepers.

But now it can be revealed that it will also offer support and accommodation to 32 Redbridge residents who would otherwise be staying in B&Bs.

The project, which was first announced in October last year, has just been awarded £1.1m by The Salvation Army, in a show of support from the national charity to the local chapter.

Captain John Clifton, of Ilford SA, said the project was “as much as about building a community with people on the fringes of it as it is about meeting community needs”.

Decorating a 'Project Malachi' wallhanging with handprints outside the Salvation Army in Ilford, on 29th July, 2017. Picture: Catherine Davison Decorating a 'Project Malachi' wallhanging with handprints outside the Salvation Army in Ilford, on 29th July, 2017. Picture: Catherine Davison

The donation – which will help transform the site from a crumbling funeral home into a modern centre built from shipping containers – is designed to pave the way for more pop-up hostels across the country.

The accommodation will see residents and rough sleepers stay in self-contained apartments with a bed, sofa, bathroom and kitchen area.

Ilford SA is set to become the landlord for the residents and in return, the charity plans to offer each person two and a half hours of support from trained workers.

The support will help residents get back on their feet and into more stable accommodation.

Shipping container development in Ealing (credit: John Clifton) Shipping container development in Ealing (credit: John Clifton)

The same level of support will be extended to eight “entrenched” rough sleepers at a time who have been living on the streets for years and have no access to public funds.

The project is backed by numerous community figures and has only been successful “through the generosity of volunteers,” added John.

They are Mankamal Singh from The Sikh Network, Helen Morris from All Saints Church, Woodford Green, Mohamed Omer of Redbridge Muslim Organisations, Mike Broome from City Gates Church, Ilford, and Major Jenine Main on behalf of the North London branch of The Salvation Army.

Redbridge Council leader Jas Athwal, Cllr Kam Rai and Keith Prince, the assembly member for Redbridge, have all supported the project from the beginning.

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