Lib Dems push ahead with £3.5m homeless centre

January 15, 2009 2:06 PM

Cambridge Liberal Democrats are pushing ahead with an ambitious £3.5 million plan to transform the city's Jimmy's Night Shelter into a homeless assessment centre, building on the dedicated work that has gone on in past years.

They will recommend the council agree to commission and project manage the building work on behalf of the Zion Baptist Church and invite tenders for the main contractor when the community services scrutiny committee meets today.

Cambridge City Council has set aside £500,000 for the project which is scheduled to start in September 2010 with completion the following summer.

The work to the four-storey Victorian building will include 20 ensuite bedrooms, two kitchens, a lounge, dining room, laundry, assessment and training areas and offices.

Executive Councillor for Housing Catherine Smart said: "At this turning point in the history of Jimmy's, I would like to pay tribute to the dedication of the staff and volunteers who have helped some of the city's most vulnerable people.

"I am delighted that we are making headway on this project which will offer much improved

conditions for Jimmy's to welcome and help the homeless and give them a safe place to stay where they can get practical help and training."

Petersfield county councillor, Nichola Harrison said: "This assessment centre will combine all the good work being carried out at Jimmy's Night Shelter into an all-day facility offering many extra benefits for the homeless."

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