Dock House, the homelessness shelter on the banks of the River Hull in the city centre, has closed its doors for the final time. The area now awaits regeneration.
Dock House, which has provided safe shelter and a lifeline for many homeless people over the decades, was opened by Hull HARP in 1982. Humbercare took over the management of the shelter in 2017, ensuring rough sleepers in the city had somewhere to seek shelter and access a wide range of support services.
The night shelter provided safe accommodation for 24 people every night, especially welcome during the cold winter months.
Humbercare Chief Executive Richard McKinnon said: “We, of course, are sad to see the closure of Dock House, it has long been a vital service to rough sleepers and the homeless in the city, for some, a preferred option and for others the only and last. Dock House was a home to a lot of people.
“Humbercare have worked in partnership with the local authority in managing the closure as part of the long planned regeneration of the area, and I would like to thank all parties involved. I would especially like to thank the staff and management at Dock House for their professionalism and dedication to this service, ensuring that everyone has been able to move on to other accommodation, you have all done an amazing job.
”Over the years we have supported hundreds of the city’s rough sleepers, some just for a night or two, some of them for long periods where we got to know them and listened to their stories, felt their pain and supported them to come out on the other side.
“As well as the support offered it was always so much more than that – watching movies, playing bingo, eating Sunday dinners together, having parties to celebrate with them and for them. As much as we felt their pain, we celebrated their successes, big or small.
“Over the last few weeks, we have worked alongside the local authority and our partner agencies to ensure that no one has been left without a home.”
Sandy Smith, Chair of HullHARP, said: “We always hoped that Dock House would close because we had been successful in ending rough sleeping, alas this is not the case, and it has now closed regardless. Hull City Council have been given funds from central government for a 30-bed replacement, but, as yet, there has been no announcement on where that money is going. In the meantime, the end of an era, but hopefully the start of a new period of sustainable, secure accommodation for those most in need.”
[Jerome Whittingham – editor HULL IS THIS]