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Irving Lodge set to close under shake-up of Gloucester's homeless services

By The Citizen  |  Posted: April 21, 2014

By Nick Webster, health reporter

Irving Lodge

Irving Lodge in Weston Road will no longer be funded by the county council from July

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Vulnerable adults living in Gloucester face an uncertain future due to a shake-up of the way homeless services are funded.

Funding cuts due to hit this summer will result in some temporary accommodation closing from July.

Irving Lodge in Weston Road, provides accommodation to vulnerable adults and is managed by the Home Group social inclusion charity.

It relies on funding from Gloucestershire County Council to provide some of its services.

Residents there will now move to other services or those who are capable of living independently will be found their own place to live before it closes in three months.

Dianne Rooney, Home Group head of client services, said: “The council has informed us they will be reducing funding for the service. Although Irving Lodge can accommodate up to 19 people it is only around 50 per cent occupied at the moment. We are able to move some clients to other properties in the service and we will help others who are ready to live independently to do so.

“Home Group is a not for profit housing provider and as a charity we rely on external funding to run our services. We’ll work with the council and our clients to make sure everyone is settled before then.”

Lynn Horsley, who runs Dorchester House in Denmark Road, has seen a huge rise in demand for emergency accommodation.

“I had Irving Lodge call me up asking for ten rooms that I haven’t got,” she said.

“I’m getting calls from P3 and Cheltenham Borough Council asking for spaces. It will only get worse. People sat behind a desk making these decisions on reduced funding don’t realise how bad it is.

“There are not enough beds for vulnerable people as it is. If they don’t get the support they need, they will turn to crime and that will bring more problems to Gloucester.”

Changes to the county council's supporting people services, will see efficiency savings and funding redistributed to homeless services in Gloucestershire where it is needed most.

Councillor Kathy Williams, cabinet member for adult services, said: “We’ve looked at accommodation-based services for homeless people in Gloucestershire to see how we can better support vulnerable people with more specialist and complex needs.

"This approach focuses on helping the most vulnerable return to living more independent lives when they are ready, and we’ve worked with providers who have identified what they need to do to meet these needs.

“In this case, the provider has identified that Irving Lodge is no longer needed and it is now working with remaining residents to find them appropriate alternative accommodation.

“This may be at one of the provider’s other properties in the county, to another provider’s properties, or the user could be referred to another more appropriate service such as community-based support.”

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  • Kay_Powell  |  April 23 2014, 2:50PM

    This is bad news. There will be ever increasing numbers of troubled and troublesome people wandering the streets and parks of Gloucester and possibly being left homeless.

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