Life-changing project ‘can end homelessness’ in Redbridge

PUBLISHED: 12:00 06 October 2016 | UPDATED: 12:25 06 October 2016

Rita Chada, chief executive of Ramfel and Lieutenant John Clifton of Ilford Salvation Army

Rita Chada, chief executive of Ramfel and Lieutenant John Clifton of Ilford Salvation Army

Salvation Army

A charity head says a pioneering year-long project aimed at turning people’s lives around could be the first step to ending homelessness.

Project Malachi is crowdfunding to raise £70,000 and will offer long-term support to homeless people who have been sleeping on the streets, and have no access to public funds.

John Clifton, from the Salvation Army, and Rita Chadha, chief executive of the Refugee and Migrant Forum of East London (Ramfel), who head the scheme, believe it will change lives.

At a meeting at Ilford Salvation Army, Clements Road, Ilford, on Thursday, Ms Chadha said: “We know this can work and we need to be ambitious for these people.

“I do believe homelessness can be ended.”

The project offers a “period of stability” in people’s lives, said Ms Chadha.

“We know that this can work.

“People with no recourse to public funds are often highly distressed.

“They have lost their documents on the street, and they need a period of stability in order to decide what they want to do.

“That might be anything from helping them exercise their treaty rights, to helping them return home.”

Donations will cover the costs of two flats, food and intensive support from charity workers, and the project hopes to support up to four homeless people during the year-long pilot.

The project is named after a young boy called Malachi Justin, who received £5 from the tooth fairy and sent it to Ilford Salvation Army, asking staff to buy a home for a homeless person living in Redbridge.

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