Leeds flats could help drinkers end ‘spiral of dependence’

Martin Patterson.
Martin Patterson.
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A homelessness service in Leeds plans to demolish one of its hostels used for “wet accommodation” to build individual apartments aimed at helping residents end their “spiral of dependence”.

St George’s Crypt currently uses the building at 22 Regent Terrace in Hyde Park as space for some of its attendees suffering from drink problems.

But it is planned that the former All Hallows Church vicarage is knocked down so that 14 apartments can be built.

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The Crypt’s development director Martin Patterson said the idea involves “trying to move people forward so they can achieve more with their lives and not go round and round in a spiral of dependence.”

The organisation took over the site from All Hallows Church more than 40 years ago and it works as a “typical” 24-hour hostel, with private rooms and communal dining spaces –with meals cooked by staff.

But the latest proposals would cater for 14 people, with four one-bed apartments and 10 studio apartments, along with a staff office, training room and laundry.

Documents put together by Directions Planning Consultancy read: “The new development is expected to remove some of the dependence of residents on staff and also change the culture of the facility.

“This is because residents will need to make their own meals and there will be no communal areas in which they might sit together and simply drink.”

Mr Patterson said: “We are moving people towards a lifestyle which is going to be much more looking at their own self-confidence and their ability to manage their own space.”

Christian-based service St George’s Crypt, the main base of which is on Great George Street in Leeds city centre, helps people suffering from homelessness, addiction and other vulnerabilities. It dates back to 1930.

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