New funding has been secured from the London Borough of Redbridge to help fund an innovative ‘pop-up’ hostel in Ilford, East London. The Salvation Army, in partnership with the council, have been working on Project Malachi, an initiative that is set to support rough sleepers year-round.
The project will feature a 42-unit hostel and a bike workshop, to support people who are sleeping rough, including those who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF). The solution, initially, will be in place to help vulnerable people in Ilford for five years.
A sum of £2.5 million was approved for the capital development of the project, which will allow The Salvation Army to use resources to focus on the day-to-day running of the hostel. The new funding means that there will be more units available for the most vulnerable people sleeping rough, more support available for the residents who will stay there, and the opportunity for the scheme to run for a longer period of time.
Leader of the Council, Jas Athwal, said: “Ending homelessness in Redbridge is one of my top priorities and this shelter will make a huge difference. It is our responsibility, both as a council, but also as residents ourselves, to support those in our society who are most vulnerable, and I am delighted to be able to fund a brand new permanent shelter to prevent needless suffering on the streets.
“We have already opened a temporary shelter in the heart of Redbridge so no one should have to sleep rough this winter but it is fantastic to work with The Salvation Army on a longer-term solution.”
The Salvation Army has committed £1.7 million to the running costs, and has raised an additional £250k on top of this from voluntary income. Captain John Clifton, Officer at Ilford Salvation Army commented:
“We are very excited about this new arrangement for Project Malachi. It is vital that we maximise our resources to help people who have nowhere else to turn to, like those with no recourse to public funds. I would encourage people to continue to be generous in their donations as the more money we raise, the more can be directed to help those most in need and the longer the scheme will be able to run.”
The Salvation Army and London Borough of Redbridge are continuing to work together to deliver this innovative project as quickly as possible. In the meantime, the Redbridge Cold Weather Centre at Ilford Salvation Army will be open to support local homeless people until Project Malachi is completed. The council opened an additional shelter on Monday, managed by Single Homeless Project, which will be supported by The Salvation Army. There are now a total of 60 shelter beds in Redbridge this winter.
Members of the Project Malachi sponsoring committee have expressed their continued support for the project:
Pastor Steve Derbyshire, City Gates Church, London, said: “City Gates Church is proud to be supporting Project Malachi. We are delighted to see that Redbridge Council is making a major financial commitment towards the establishing of the physical structure of the hostel. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the other members of the steering committee to see homelessness in Redbridge dramatically reduced and broken lives to be restored to how God wants them to be. Project Malachi is an important initiative which will help in achieving these goals.”
Tasveer Singh, Sikh Support, said: “It is great to see the commitment of faith groups and the local council, working together to alleviate homelessness in Ilford. This is a real opportunity to bring lasting change and creates an inspiring legacy.”
Mohamed Omer, Federation of Redbridge Muslim Organisations, said: “The Muslim community is proud to be associated with Project Malachi. Homelessness affects people of all faith and no faith and it is the duty of society to look after vulnerable people. A community working in partnership with the council to help resolve a serious problem of homelessness - that is Project Malachi.”
Paul Samuels, Steward of the Gospel, Catholic Church of SS. Peter and Paul, Ilford, said: “The Catholic community in Ilford is motivated to be part of Project Malachi because this initiative speaks to the heart of Catholic social teaching. This multi-faith action contributes to unity and well-being in the local community, creating the opportunity to work together to provide independence and hope to rough sleepers presently living on the streets of Redbridge.”
- The name Project Malachi was adopted when a local boy named Malachi donated the £5 he received from the ‘tooth fairy’ to the project.
- Rough sleeping data in Redbridge taken from here https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/homelessness-statistics
- For more information about Project Malachi, visit https://popuphostel-ilfordsalvationarmy.nationbuilder.com/about or @projectmalachi_ on Twitter