New Hartlepool hub is a Cornerstone of support for town's rough sleepers

A homeless charity has opened a new facility in Hartlepool to help rough sleepers get off the cold streets and access vital help.

Friday, 14th January 2022, 4:08 pm

Cornerstone Supported Housing and Counselling, which has operated in the town for a number of years, has launched the new Cornerstone Hub facility in Park Road.

Although rough sleepers are unable to sleep there, a new pilot evening “sit up service” will give them somewhere to get warm, have a shower, something to eat and a change of clothes.

Access to information, support and signposting to other agencies will also be given from the hub.

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Cornerstone CEO Steve Vasey and support worker Holly Lithgo outside the new hub on Park Road to support homeless people.

The charity believes the service could help end rough sleeping in Hartlepool for good.

Nicky Morson, who is managing the facility, said: "I think it can make a dramatic difference because it gives them somewhere safe to go.

“The next morning we take the person to Hartlepool Borough Council to go through emergency housing options.

"We support them the whole way.”

Steve Vasey and support worker Holly Lithgo inside the new Hartlepool hub.

Cornerstone’s outreach team which seeks out and supports those sleeping on the street has now switched to the new hub at 66-68 Park Road.

Advice, support and links to daytime services will also be offered to people in need.

It also boasts IT and phone access and will serve as a meeting place for other organisations and service providers.

The pilot overnight support scheme is currently funded for three months but is hoped to become an all year round service.

Household products, including garden furniture, made by Cornerstone clients in County Durham, will be sold from the new Hartlepool facility to help with the costs.

CEO of Cornerstone Steve Vasey said: “The clients that we are dealing with are some of the most marginalised and isolated in our community.

"We have had quite a few people through the door and with our collaboration with Hartlepool Borough Council we’ve been able to get those into long term accommodation where they are supported.”

Funding for the centre has been matched by the council’s Community Pot.

Cornerstone are appealing for volunteers to help at the new venture. Contact Nicky Morson via Facebook messenger. Search for CornerstoneSH to apply.

The charity is also looking for someone aged 16-24 currently on Universal Credit to fill a Project Worker vacancy in Hartlepool under the government’s Kickstart scheme.

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