Safe house needs funds to carry on
A FELIXSTOWE-based help group is urgently trying to raise funds to buy a property which it uses to house people in crisis.The owner of the seven-bedroomed house is selling it - but the volunteer-run community group is hoping to either buy it or raise enough money to pay rent for it.
By Richard Cornwell
A FELIXSTOWE-based help group is urgently trying to raise funds to buy a property which it uses to house people in crisis.
The owner of the seven-bedroomed house is selling it - but the volunteer-run community group is hoping to either buy it or raise enough money to pay rent for it.
The property has been used for the past year as a “safe house” for people who have become homeless, suffered domestic violence, marriage break-ups or financial collapse.
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But even if the house is sold, the organisers have pledged no-one will be made homeless and alternative arrangements will be made.
The house has been run by the Gift of Hope trust, which runs the Martha and Mary Crisis Line in Felixstowe.
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A spokeswoman for the trustees said the use of the house in Quilter Road, Felixstowe, had identified a real need for such a house in the seaside town for people who contacted the crisis line.
She said: “There is definitely a need and that need is not going to go away.
“We know it works and we would love to continue with it. If it was somehow possible - if there was someone or some organisation out there who could help - to buy this property or to rent it, it would be wonderful.”
The group has applied for charitable status and has been in discussions, so far unsuccessfully, with grant-giving organisations. It has also met the council to find out the rules and regulations for running a house in multiple occupation. The house is for sale for £285,000.
Property owner Tina Durrell, 39, said: “I just allowed them to have use of the house, it's not something I make money from, but I think it is important to do.
“In a way they did me a favour because it meant it wasn't empty so it is easier to keep it up.
“They would love to move in here permanently but can't find a way to raise the funds.
“I need to sell it because I just can't afford to run two houses.
“I wish there was a way I could keep it with the crisis line but it just doesn't seem possible at the moment.”
If you can help, contact the Martha and Mary Crisis Line on 01394 671730.
Have you stayed at the crisis house - how did it help you? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk