Counsel house opens

PUBLISHED: 12:03 22 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:20 06 May 2010

At the opening

At the opening

A COUNSELLING summer house for homeless people has been opened by MP Barbara Follett. The Counsel House will be used by the residents of Chris Foster House, in Ditchmore Lane, Stevenage, – the Haven s emergency single homeless hostel. The Counsel House re

A COUNSELLING summer house for homeless people has been opened by MP Barbara Follett.

The Counsel House will be used by the residents of Chris Foster House, in Ditchmore Lane, Stevenage, - the Haven's emergency single homeless hostel.

The Counsel House relieves the current pressure on rooms for counselling and will also be used for other day service activities when not in use for counselling.

The current summer house, named by residents The Serenity Shed, was becoming increasingly overbooked, and The Counsel House` will allow the staff to increase the number of hours each week devoted to counseling and alternative therapies.

On her visit, Mrs Follett met with the Haven's staff for a discussion on homelessness issues in Stevenage.

Chris Foster House accommodates 14 homeless men and four homeless women aged 16 and over and is normally full. When a bed does become free it is frequently filled the same day. Last year 525 referrals had to be refused because of lack of space.

Mrs Follett said: "The staff and residents at Stevenage Haven have worked extremely hard to make sure that the Haven has this facility. Counselling plays a major role in helping the homeless help themselves and I was honoured to be asked to open the new building.

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