William Eichler 03 May 2019

Homeless shelter closes due to safety concerns

A homeless centre in Shrewsbury has been temporarily closed down after safety concerns about the building were brought to Shropshire Council’s attention.

The Shrewsbury Ark’s chair, Karen Higgins, said the decision was a ‘precautionary measure’ to protect the charity’s clients, volunteers and staff.

‘We have a duty of care for all those who use the building,’ she said.

‘After concerns were raised to the council, the trustees made the difficult decision to temporarily close the Ark for day-centre services as of Monday 29 April until the building could be inspected by a structural engineer.’

Ms. Higgins added that since the decision to close was taken, more structural problems with the building have come to light.

‘These latest developments add a note of urgency to our plans to move to more suitable premises in the near future,’ she said.

David Doonan, the Ark’s manager, stressed that the charity’s outreach team would continue to provide support to rough sleepers and other vulnerable people.

‘This will include ensuring those sleeping rough have food and drink, have access to post, and most importantly still have people to talk to for support,’ he said.

‘Our volunteers will also continue to support our clients in other ways such as attending doctor and other appointments with them. We will also be providing clothing and other items such as rucksacks and sleeping bags where needed.’

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