Project Malachi decision to be made at council meeting tomorrow

published on 25 Apr 2018

Over 100 residents from across Redbridge have said they will join The Salvation Army at the council’s committee meeting this week to support the planning permission for Project Malachi, a local initiative lead by The Salvation Army which aims to end rough sleeping in Ilford. 

As part of a pioneering initiative to tackle rough sleeping and homelessness in the area, local people, businesses and institutions led by The Salvation Army in Ilford developed Project Malachi to build a ‘pop up’ hostel. Made out of shipping containers, the project will provide homes for rough sleepers enabling them to get off the street and to start rebuilding their lives. This Thursday, 26th April, the council’s planning committee will meet at Ilford Town Hall to decide whether Project Malachi will be granted planning permission at its proposed Chadwick Road site. 

Captain John Clifton from Ilford Salvation Army said: "This is the first project of its kind for The Salvation Army and one where civil society is leading the way by using the innovative idea of creating a building from shipping containers to tackle the serious issue of homelessness. I really hope we get planning permission because it will mark a significant milestone in the development of Project Malachi enabling us to begin the tendering processes to appoint a building contractor.  We’d like to have the building open this coming winter so a positive decision now is vital to keep us on track to meeting that deadline.”

Project Malachi was born out of the frustration of local individuals attending and supporting the winter shelter run by The Salvation Army in Ilford who saw that despite excellent night shelter provision through the coldest months of the year, the overall number of rough sleepers in the borough continued to rise year on year. Rough sleeping in Redbridge is now at its highest according to the last official count in November 2017. Project Malachi hopes to run for five years and aims to reduce the number of people sleeping rough in the borough over that time by providing temporary homes and access to a variety of support that will address – and prevent – the root causes of homelessness.

The ‘pop up hostel’ will be created from shipping containers that will form individual studio flats for up to 42 people. Those individuals will also be offered practical support including help finding a job or continuing their education and advice about benefits and health checks. Captain John Clifton continues: “What’s different about Project Malachi is that it will not only be a place to live for those who are currently sleeping rough in Ilford, it will provide opportunities for volunteering and community engagement too, including through social enterprise.  We want it to become a place of hope for many people.”

The Salvation Army asks that those wishing to support them at the council planning committee meeting gather outside The Salvation Army Hall in Clements Road, Ilford at 6.30pm on Thursday 26th April, to walk to the Town Hall together.