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Big Issue founder praises housing provider's work with homeless

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Big Issue founder praises housing provider's work with homeless

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities

The Portsmouth Foyer The Portsmouth Foyer

The Big Issue's founder, Dr John Bird MBE, has praised a housing association's work with the homeless, whilst opening its new centre for vulnerable people.

First Wessex's 'The Portsmouth Foyer' has been designed to provide accommodation for 54 disadvantaged young people.

Dr Bird praised the education, training and employment work undertaken to support the homeless at the Foyer, and described it as "an incredibly optimistic place."

He added that the work at the centre was important in helping to "give young people a hand up rather than a hand out”.

Dr Bird was joined at the opening ceremony on 7 December by First Wessex's chief executive, Peter Walters, and board chair, Phil Raybould.

Peter Walters said: “This building is one of the jewels in the crown for First Wessex and one of only a few in the UK that have been purpose built to meet the needs of vulnerable young people in the last few years. We are proud to have developed this great, state of the art facility that will benefit hundreds of young people for years to come.”

The new development was built with contractors Lovell Partnerships, the Homes and Communities Agency and Portsmouth City Council. It includes a number of sustainable features such as a grass roof, photovoltaic panels, and features communal computer areas, training rooms and leisure facilities.

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