New community hub to reduce the risk of homelessness in Littleport
A community hub focusing on job loss, alcohol and drug addiction that could result in homelessness will look at "intervention to prevent the worst from happening".
Littleport Community Hub is being re-launched with the aim of bringing together a range of experts from a variety of organisations, support groups and charities to help individuals from across the district.
The hub will offer advice and assistance to those dealing with debt, budgeting, benefit problems, job loss, alcohol and drug addiction, mental health crises, relationship breakdown and domestic violence - all triggers for homelessness.
Councillor David Ambrose Smith, chairman of the operational services committee at East Cambridgeshire District Council (ECDC) and ward member for Littleport, said:
"It may come as a shock to many, but the truth is that any one of us are just two steps away from homelessness.
"A job loss or a relationship breakdown could spiral into debt, despair and financial ruin or trigger addition or a mental health breakdown.
"As council we have always looked at early intervention and prevention to prevent the worst from happening and our community hubs play an important role in this."
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ECDC run community hubs in at the Lighthouse Centre in Ely and at Stretham Youth Centre in Stretham.
Housing drop-in sessions are run three times a week at the council offices on Nutholt Lane.
Littleport Community Hub originally opened in Littleport Village Hall in March 2018 but was under-used so was moved to George's Parish Church which also runs a food bank.
Councillor Ambrose Smith added: "The new location will hopefully help us to target those in most need of support.
"Community hubs offer the most vulnerable people in our district a chance to get help, answers and advice without having to go through a long referral process."
Among groups being represented at the hub will be ECDC's housing team, the mental health charity Red 2 Green, Women's Aid, Christians Against Poverty and the Job Centre.
Sanctuary Housing, the floating support service for tenancy advice P3 and CGL, the free and confidential drug and alcohol service, will also be on hand.
The new Littleport Community Hub will launch officially on the November 5 and will take place on the first Tuesday of every month at St George's Parish Church in Littleport between 1.30pm and 3pm.