House for the homeless running at full capacity
A HOUSE for homeless people set up by hospital staff has been at full capacity.
The shelter, which is based near Hull Royal Infirmary in Anlaby Road, has been full for the past few nights.
It was opened just before Christmas as part of a winter plan by Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust to stop homeless people from blocking beds.
Pauline Lewin, the trust's chief of infrastructure and development, said: "We had about two or three people, or sometimes up to four, in over the Christmas period.
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"But over the past three or four nights we've been at full capacity and put in an extra bed.
"We've had a mixture of people in, but it has been predominantly men."
The house, which has been donated by Sanctuary Housing, was originally designed to house eight people.
However, it has been running with nine beds for the past few nights.
Fortunately, the volunteers working there haven't had to turn anyone away.
Ms Lewin said: "The homeless people we've had in have told us they find it to be a really nice facility.
"We've had no trouble there at all."
Hospital staff, including medical teams, catering and cleaning employees, have given up their free time to work at the house.
Nurses and doctors have volunteered to give health checks to the home's residents.
All the furniture and food has been donated – most of it surplus from the hospital.
Security cameras were also donated and everyone working there does so on a voluntary basis.
Ms Lewin said: "The staff have all been very positive, saying how nice and friendly the people who come in are.
"They have enjoyed working there."
The home opened on December 19 and will be running until the end of February.
Ms Lewin said: "The festive period is often a particularly bad time for homeless people, with family breakdowns and bad weather.
"We decided to open it at Christmas until the end of February because we knew this was the worst period."
As the arrangement currently stands, the home will close in two months.
However, the situation will be reviewed towards the end of its use.