A YMCA homeless hostel was visited by Labour Shadow Minister for Housing Emma Reynolds MP on Tuesday, joined by Bedford & Kempston parliamentary candidate Patrick Hall.
The centre, in Spenser Road, Bedford, runs a programme called Beds for All, which gets homeless people back on their feet after being discharged from hospital.
Paul Kellett, specialist housing officer, said: 'Instead of them being discharged onto the street or a night shelter where they can usually only spend one night, we take them in here and help them recover. We've had people who have suffered strokes or had a hip replacement, where obviously the streets are no place for.
It also significantly reduces the cost, compared to keeping them in hospital over night. Financial costs are covered by £233 in weekly housing benefit, compared to £255 per night in bed. It also gives us a chance to engage with them and help them prepare for life after they leave the hostel'.
Emma Reynolds observed, 'The support they get here is brilliant -- both from staff and the supports which the residents give to each other'.
Original version of the article appeared in the Bedfordshire on Sunday (25/1/15) by Nick Smith