The Guardian piece starts thus:
Last month, Hammersmith and Fulham council's cabinet decided to close the 14-unit Tamworth hostel, make all staff redundant and sell the building. The council said alternative accommodation would be found for the hostel's eight residents. The council's rationale for closure was a Supporting People fund contribution towards a £300,000 austerity saving. Selling the building would be a nice little earner.It doesn't get much happier, with frightened residents predicting that they'll be preyed upon, "like last time" says one woman of when she was last in a B&B. Read it all here.
Things aren't looking as bright for those in the hostel, though. Inside, you find angry, soon-to-be-unemployed staff, concerned residents and a sort of muted, but palpable, sense of calamity. It's not just the job losses, or the uncertainty faced by residents. There's a feeling that with this sort of closure, we're getting a glimpse into austerity's darkest corners – corners where sufferers of severe mental illness rot in substandard B&Bs, or end up on the street. Time will tell.
There is of course another mental health hostel set to close in Shepherd's Bush, that on Lime Grove, to make way for the Council's plans to alloow developers to build seven floors of flats on top of the Market, relegating the Market to an underground car park-like existence and shunting the hostel users elsewhere. Residents of Pennard Road and Lime Grove predicted with dread what the consequences would be not just for these vulnerable people but to the residents themselves. Here's what I reported one resident called Caspar having said at the time:
"The most powerful speaker of the evening was a Lime Grove resident called Casper. He stood up and spoke eloquently about the impact not often referred to by proponents and opponents alike, and that is the likely relocation of a homeless and drug user service, back to within that residential area, from where it was removed only 5 or so years ago. Recalling taking his children to their first day at school he reminisced about their having seen vomiting, urinating and other behaviour from the addicts and homeless people being served on their road. All of this is set to return under the current plans because their new hostel occupies land that Orion wish to build flats on".