ROUGH sleepers are about to move into a new £1.9m homeless shelter in Oxford.

Oxford Direct Services has completed the conversion of the former job centre in Floyds Row off St Aldate’s into an assessment hub and shelter and about 20 homeless people will move in later this week.

They are transferring from homeless shelter Simon House in Paradise Street.

Homelessness charity St Mungo’s will be running the services at the renovated centre.

READ AGAIN: Floyds Row homeless shelter nearly ready

Major renovation work has taken place and furniture and lamp shades have been donated to make the place more cosy.

Oxford Mail:

St Mungo’s staff will run all the services at Floyds Row on behalf of the council.

These include Somewhere Safe to Stay services, the winter shelter, and SWEP (severe weather emergency protocol) beds, which are switching from Simon House.

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Linda Smith, deputy leader of Oxford City Council and cabinet member for leisure and housing, said: “All councillors have been invited to join me to have a look around Floyds Row.

Oxford Mail:

“It will really increase our capacity for emergency accommodation.

“Somewhere Safe to Stay is a really intensive service so when rough sleepers come into Floyds Row they will get intensive support from breakfast time until tea time.

“The idea is that people will only be there for about a week before they move on.

“That could be to Matilda House or O’Hanlon House, supported housing or accommodation in the private rented sector.”

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Ms Smith added there would be 16 winter night shelter places, complementing the work of the Oxford Winter Night Shelter run by city churches.

Oxford Mail:

The winter shelter at Floyds Row runs from October to March while the church shelter, which uses church buildings, runs from January to March.

Ms Smith added: “Secondhand furniture is coming in from Emmaus and lamp shades have been donated by members of the public - we want Floyds Row to have a homely feel to it.”

Oxford Mail:

Ms Smith said the council was working with colleagues in other councils, St Mungo’s, Crisis, Homeless Oxfordshire, Turning Point, A2Dominion, Luther Street Medical Centre and other homelessness service providers to deliver the project.

Oxford Mail:

St Mungo’s has experience of running similar services in London and the south of England and its expertise has seen up to four fifths of people leaving the streets behind for good.

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The council expects Floyds Row to be fully open in April with capacity for 56 people.

Oxford Homeless Movement, a partnership of organisations working to ensure that no one has to sleep rough, ran a Christmas Match Fund which raised £140,000 for homelessness agencies and organisations, including Floyds Row.