Hornsey Road Traders Association donates £3,500 to Solidarity Shelter
- Credit: Archant
The Hornsey Road Traders Association has donated £3,500 to its new homeless shelter neighbour, which is due to open any day now.
Traders have pledged money given to them via a council grant to the Solidarity Centre (also known as the Glass House) in Hornsey Road.
Mark Fitzpatrick, of Fitzpatrick Developments, owns the building but is letting the coalition of agencies use it as a temporary shelter, offering wrap-around support, while it sits empty.
Mark, also a member of the traders association, told the Gazette: “There’s has been a really professional and positive atmosphere about the place and it’s nice to give back to the community.
“The building is crumbling so it’s nice to just give it a fresh lease of life.”
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The shelter is being run by Housing Justice charity and the grassroots outreach group Streets Kitchen, with Pilion Trust set to run day-to-day services,
It’s been billed as a “unique pilot” showcasing how empty commercial buildings can be used to tackle the soaring levels of street homelessness across the country.
Mark, 38, added: “It [the temporary shelter] has been agreed for the next couple of months but I think that’s something that could be reevaluated while the building is empty, if they’re getting on with the neighbours.
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Fitzpatrick Developments have planning permission to “eventually” bulldoze the site and replace it with flats and office space – but Mark would “like it to have some social housing going forward, if at all possible”.
He added: “We have been working with other traders for the last couple of years and we’re trying hard to improve the road because it could do with a little love and care – we like to think of [Hornsey Road} as the gateway to the Emirates.”
Jon Glackin, founder of Streets Kitchen, told the Gazette: “We welcome the involvement of local business – we must work with the community for the shelter to be successful.”
Islington’s business chief Cllr Asima Shaikh said: “We are one community in Islington and Finsbury Park. “It’s up to all of us to come together to tackle the issue of street homelessness and the business community are a vital part of that.”