Harrogate church leaders raised their fear over the possible budget cut on the homeless projects in the spa town. They warned that cutting the support for two flagship projects in the town would be a disaster waiting to happen.
Harrogate Homeless hostel that has 16 beds receives Supporting People grant of £60,000 a year which the North Yorkshire County Council administers.
The No Second Night Out scheme that gives immediate help to rough sleepers gets a government funding worth £80,000.
Churches Together said they have been told that their Harrogate Homeless Project’s (HHP) services are facing spending cuts starting from April next year.
The chairman of Churches Together in Harrogate Rev Guy Donegan-Cross said that they have given help to the needy for over 20 years and expressed his disbelief in how everything will be taken away in one fell swoop.
Campaigners claimed that the any cuts will have huge impact on Churches Together’s services which the organisation has set up in 1991. In a bid to raise a “fighting fund” that will be used to stop possible cuts, a fundraising dinner has been arranged.
Bishop James Bell, area bishop of Ripon, will be attending the dinner which is taking place on November 26 at St Mark’s church, Leeds Road.
However, County Coun Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire County Council’s executive member for public health and prevention, denied the said cut last night and said the funding will continue.
Following the concerns expressed for Harrogate Homeless Project’s future funding, he revealed that he made inquiries with the Supporting People officer and that the financial support for the year 2015/16 and beyond is yet to be determined.
Despite admitting the great pressures on budgets the county is facing, Coun Mackenzie reiterated how they are recognising the important service the organisation provides for homeless people in the Harrogate area and assured it will keep getting funding.