New facility opens to stamp out rough sleeping in Milton Keynes

Unity Park Station has officially opened as a daytime support centre for the homeless, vulnerable and those with mental health issues in MK.

The building, opposite CMK rail station and formerly known as the Buszy, will provide services including help with accommodation and employment applications legal and housing advice, on-site addiction support and food and clothing aid.

Unity Park

Unity Park

There will also be mental health services, life and employment skills training and help obtaining ID and bank accounts.

It is run by The Winter Night Shelter MK, which provides food and accommodation to rough sleepers in the coldest months.

Richard Wightman, chair of the WNS, said: “We felt the bus station building was being under-utilised and therefore developed the concept of Unity Park Station, which can act as a year-round anytime support centre to complement our provision of overnight accommodation. This is all part of trying to help to make homelessness a thing of the past in Milton Keynes.”

Refurbishment work to the bus station building began in the spring of this year. The alterations include the installation of showers, washing and drying facilities, storage for personal belongings, two interview rooms, a meeting room

Unity Park

Unity Park

and office space.

The Unity Park Station project costs were has been enabled by a grant from the Milton Keynes Homelessness Partnership, and corporate and individual fundraisers. This includes substantial support from Rightmove who fielded teams of runners in the MK Marathon and Half Marathon in May and added a corporate donation.

Jason Charles, events manager for Rightmove, said: “We are extremely proud to be supporting a charity on our door step which not only helps the homeless, but actively works to prevent it. Unity Park Station will help those most in need, and we are proud to stand alongside them in their mission to end homelessness once and for all.”

The centre is in need of final items of equipment, including a wall-mounted Smart TV and laptops to help users to access services and search for housing and work.

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