New centre to tackle homelessness in Widnes

(L to R) Nicky Harris, Carl Moore, Ingrid Fife, Mayor Ellen Cargill, Nick Atkin and Paul Mullane opening Brennan Lodge.

Developed by Halton Housing Trust and run by The Salvation Army, Brennan Lodge, on Albert Road in central Widnes, will offer temporary accommodation for 39 residents.

The service, part funded by a £877,500 Homelessness Change Programme grant from the Homes and Communities Agency, will work with individuals to help them achieve their goals and move forward with their lives by creating personalised support packages.

Cllr Ron Hignett, Halton Borough Council’s Executive Board member for homelessness and housing strategy, said: “The scheme will not only provide much-needed safe and secure accommodation for local people experiencing homelessness, but will support them to go on and live independently.

“The scheme is an excellent example of partnership working and we’d like to thank Halton Housing Trust for creating a welcoming environment and The Salvation Army for providing a professional service.”

As well as facilities for computer training, there is also a full training kitchen.

The building has been designed to provide a warm and inviting atmosphere, with floor to ceiling windows in the multi-function lounge, as well as facilities for computer training. Residents will be encouraged to live independently in 36 en suite studio flats, two of which are adapted for disabled residents. There are also three Direct Access rooms which will be used for emergencies and out of hour accommodation. 

Halton Housing Trust’s chief executive Nick Atkin, said: “The Trust’s vision is to improve people’s lives. Brennan Lodge does exactly this by providing superb standards of temporary accommodation, underpinned by the highest quality advice and support services from the Salvation Army.”

Mitch Menagh, head of homelessness for the Salvation Army, said: “We are looking forward, through this service, to bringing transformation to people’s lives in Widnes, and value the partnership between the Trust and Halton Borough Council in doing this. The Salvation Army has been at the heart of communities for 150 years, working with those who are vulnerable or most in need.”

All residents will be from the local area and will be referred from Halton Borough Council.

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