A NEW home for the homeless has opened its doors in Rugby town centre.
The Hope Centre – the new HQ of charity Hope 4 – welcomed its first referred guests this week.
The new venue, at the former Engineering Club on Newbold Road, has been refurbished with a new kitchen, a dining area, a community lounge, office space and upgraded shower and toilet facilities.
It also features a recreation area, space for organisations to meet guests, better access and provision for disabled people and extra storage space for food, sleeping bags, tents, toiletries and clothing.
Hope 4 bought the building last summer after unprecedented demand meant they were having to turn away homeless and vulnerable people due to lack of space.
Rev Dr Michael Bochenski, the chairperson of Hope 4 Rugby, said: “There are times in an organisation’s life when lots of hard work, people and planning all come together to make something new and significant happen. For Hope 4 these are such times.
“To be moving into our new home in Rugby after five years in temporary premises on Church Street – and a ten year search – is marvellous.”
Hope 4 Director Brian Coleman, who has overseen the refurbishing project, said: “We owe a huge debt to so many people who have given us their time and money, and their energy and skills – often at cost price or for free.
“We have witnessed a harvest of talents and generosity in recent months. It has been a privilege to see it all coming together so perfectly.”
An open day and official opening ceremony will be held at the centre on Saturday March 21 from 10am-3pm. A speech will be given by long-serving Hope 4 Director Lilian Francis, who is retiring as company secretary.
Her successor, volunteer Joyce Woodings, said: “Hope 4 has long been a charity near to my heart because I have seen at first hand the quality of its work among marginalised people here in Rugby.
“I am really looking forward now to working with the other directors, support workers and volunteers and our many guests at such a significant time for the charity.”
Visit www.hope4.org.uk to donate or find out how to volunteer.