New 'oasis' for Northampton's homeless
Published Wednesday, 22 June 2011
Partners of a supported housing scheme set to revolutionise homelessness services in Northampton, have put the creative skills of potential customers to the test by asking them to name the new building.
More than 40 people have been involved in a year-long consultation to find a name befitting the aspirational new scheme on Campbell Street, including customers from the Hope Centre, NAASH and CAN which currently provide the town's homeless services.
To mark the occasion, members from the local community, potential customers and key stakeholders gathered at the site to witness the official naming ceremony of 'Oasis House' by Northampton Borough Council's, Portfolio Holder for Housing, Councillor Christopher Malpas.
The name was chosen from a short-list of three, with Oasis House the clear favourite as it represented a calm, relaxed setting whilst being refreshing, new and a good place to be.
The £5.3million supported housing scheme is being developed by leading housing and care organisation Midland Heart, in partnership with Northampton Borough Council, the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), Northamptonshire County Council Supporting People, the Hope Centre, NAASH, CAN, YMCA, Northampton Homeless Forum and developer, William Davis Ltd.
Part funded by the HCA's Places of Change and National Affordable Housing programmes, the project is designed to consolidate and improve the existing provision for the town's homeless population.
Carl Larter, director of new business and development at Midland Heart, said: "The ceremony marked a significant milestone in the scheme's development and we are delighted that it is being named by those who will use the service the most.
"The consultation was a huge success and whilst it took a year to develop the name, it was an important process for the scheme's potential customers as they were integral to defining the identity of Oasis House."
Around 30 people gathered for the official unveiling of the naming stone in the courtyard where it will remain until it is incorporated into the retaining wall next to the main doors on the corner of Campbell Street and Bailiff Street.
Councillor Christopher Malpas, cabinet member for housing at Northampton Borough Council, said: "It is essential we support our most vulnerable members of the community and once opened, Oasis House will provide much needed accommodation and a range of services which will help its customers move forward with their lives and look towards independent living."
The new housing provision will consist of 48 units of accommodation, including 39 self-contained apartments, nine emergency units, four of which have dog kennels attached.
It will act as a multi-functional site bringing accommodation at Acorn House and day-time drop in facilities at the Hope Centre under one roof.
The scheme will also include a day centre, IT suite, arts and crafts centre, a kitchen garden, housing advice service and training facilities.
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