October 19, 2020 11.45 am This story is over 14 months old

Church wants to turn former store into sanctuary for homeless

Boston Dunelm closed in 2019

A Boston church is looking to change a former furniture store into a hostel, supermarket and cafe.

Restore Church’s application to Boston Borough Council to change the use of the old Dunelm store at 13 West Street details plans for sleeping pods, use as a night shelter and a kickboxing room and store.

Documents submitted to the authority from Restore said the plans will form an “accessible community hub” called The Sanctuary, which will provide community outreach and residential support for vulnerable adults and the homeless.

“The Sanctuary will act as a central point where agencies can come together to support those in need in a holistic way,” said Project Manager Emma Fawcett.

“It will provide long term supported and hostel style accommodation, multi-agency meeting space, community café, social supermarket and space for social enterprise schemes.”

Organisers say the aims will be “to end homelessness” within the local community and to “bridge the gap between time-limited supporting accommodation and permanent independent housing”.

The plans include 14 en-suite units for emergency short-term placement for small families, individuals and couples, while the hostel itself will include 15 bedrooms offering single night or week-by-week accommodation.

An artist’s impression of how the new Sanctuary could look. | Graphic: Neil Dowlman Architecture Ltd

The Santuary will be staffed 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week and will offer advice and support the whole time.

The planned cafe, which will be open to all, will include a “pay it forward” scheme for users said the church.

Dunelm’s West Street store closed in summer 2019 after 24 years at the location.

The company also closed its Lawrence Lane store before moving into units formerly occupied by Dreams and Currys, off Grantham Road.

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