Council offers funds to church group to set up laundry for the homeless

Published: 1 December 2014

The council is offering a grant to a church-based group in Balham to help set up a community laundry that could be used by homeless families who live in a nearby temporary housing scheme.

Financial support is being offered to a local group known as the Friends of Nightingale Square who are mainly based at the Balham Community Church on Endlesham Road. The group wants to improve laundry facilities for residents living at the temporary accommodation property in Nightingale Square.

Although there are a number of commercial laundrettes in the area, including on nearby Balham High Road, the group says there is a need for extra support for these families and as a result the council has said it is willing to offer them a start-up grant to support their aims.

The money could pay for washing and drying facilities to be located at the church, or at another site the group chooses.

The council has investigated the possibility of providing something similar at the Nightingale Square property, but there is not suitable space and the council’s homelessness support staff could not be diverted from their core role of trying to find permanent accommodation for the homeless families living there to manage such a facility.

The council’s cabinet member for housing Cllr Paul Ellis said: “The Friends of Nightingale Square have raised this issue with us and we have come up with a solution that we believe will address their concerns.

“We are willing to provide them with financial backing to help set up a small communal laundry at their church or at another suitable location in the area.

“This would seem to be the best way forward and supports the type of social and community use that the church offers.

“We believe that this is a sensible and realistic solution and we look forward to supporting the group in their efforts to provide a laundry for the homeless families living in Nightingale Square.”