A NEW homeless night shelter is set to open next week — providing a place to eat, sleep and get clean with extra specialist support in place.

Announced earlier in the year, the Isle of Wight Council, supported by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, has funded a £40,000 transformation — totalling nearly £100,000 with other specialist services —  of the former Barton Primary School site in Newport, helping up to 25 rough sleepers.

Jamie Brenchley, service manager for homelessness and housing needs at the council, said the shelter will take people off the streets giving them a safe, secure place where their holistic needs can be built and it can help rebuild their lives.

He said: "We know the interventions we offer people don't all into one size, so we needed to create additional options and opportunities to help people take those stepping stones to a place where we get them linked into appropriate support services.

"We can help them develop those networks and the resilience to ultimately overcome the traumatic experience and tragedy that homelessness is."

The council have successfully halved the numbers of rough sleepers on the Island by 13, bringing the number down to 11 — with Jamie confident further will be off the streets once the night shelter closes.

"We know we move at least 60 to 70 per cent of people who use the shelter into a place that they can call home," he said.

"Without a safe place or a stable platform people cannot rebuild their lives or recover and this shelter will provide a vital tool to help the local authority."

One potential service user, Tim, has only recently been made homeless but has lived on the streets before and is looking forward to making progress with the help of the shelter and specialist services.

He said: "This is absolutely fantastic — very warm, clean and nice.

"It is a step in the right direction if you are homeless and it is good to be one of the people they have started to help.

"I do not know what my options would be if this wasn't here — you don't like sofa surfing because you are putting yourself on people."

The shelter will be run by the Salvation Army, providing a partnership with the council, so service users can expect a hot meal, a 'listening ear' and a team of support.

Rachel Lee, the service manager of the Salvation Army's homeless services, said the shelter will put support in place right from the beginning so people feel safe.

"We are really proud to be working in partnership with the council — working with an amazing team of staff and volunteers who have helped set up and will run the project through the winter.

"This shelter will have a comprehensive package of specialist services — it is not just a bed for a night.

"It is about getting in and referring people to the services they need.

"For us it is great to have our own dedicated space and we want people to feel at home for the time they are with us. This is not just somewhere to sleep, that is safe and secure."

The emergency shelter will operate until March 2020, with longer opening hours, meaning support will be in place from 6.30pm to 11am.