Supporting “Off the Streets”

We need your support. As you know we have recently applied to the council for a temporary change of use. We need as many people to write into the council. When you write a letter, it matters what you include as it has to have something to do with planning. So please include at least one of the following points (this is the second time an application has been made – as turned down first time – ed).

  1. The fact that changes have been made such as an active shop front
  2. The fact we have achieved the Housing Justice kite mark to excellence standard showing how high and safe our standards are.
  3. The fact the police haven’t had to be called to the shelter due to anti social behaviour
  4. The fact we have moved 40 people in on 34 weeks.
  5. The fact we have a policy of no more than two smokers out at any time and they are with a member of staff.
  6. The fact that we don’t impinge on neighbour’s privacy or security and indeed add to it with CCTV being able to be passed onto police with people committing crimes.

You can EMAIL your comment over just make sure you put the APPLICATION NUMBER IN 19/00841/FUL

Email is: planningregistrationteam@southend.gov.uk

Thank you ever so much.

The above blurb was posted to me by an Off the Streets friend and I happily did write as follows:

I understand this is the second change of use application by Off the Streets, following it being turned down first time round. The comments I made earlier still apply, but there have been developments. This includes being instrumental in housing 40 of the homeless people who were given emergency accommodation, being given a quality kite mark by Housing Justice for good practice and developments in relations with nearby neighbours, which I understand are very good (yesterday I spoke to the owner of the café next door and he confirms there are no problems).The homeless need in Southend remains big and credit goes to Off the Streets for helping meet that need in a very significant way. I understand there are currently no alternative suitable premises available, which is why this application is being made. As one of the church winter night shelter managers, I was concerned when we stopped March 2017 many of our guests would again be on the streets. I was pleased therefore that Off the Streets stepped in and was later able to obtain the premises they currently used. I have observed first hand their operation and have been impressed. I hope you will grant their application for change of use. While I am not a resident, I am active in the homeless field. I chair Southend Homeless Action Network and Street Spirit and know from speaking with homeless people and interested parties how much their work is valued.

One of the humbling and refreshing discoveries, which are regularly confirmed, of living in Southend, is coming across people who care, and not only care but do something about it, and not only do something about it do so consistently over a long period, go that extra mile and do so despite obstacles etc. A good example of this is “Off the Streets”, and is why I am happy to plug and support their efforts, knowing what they do makes and important difference to the lives of homeless folk living in my town of Southend-on-Sea. I am sure the folk from Off the Streets would appreciate any support you can give, including volunteering. If you want to check them out, their Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/groups/428932964206560/. If you can write a letter of support to the council in the next week, that will be great.

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