A shelter for Sheffield’s street drinkers is at risk of closing – after being given a month to find new premises.
Ben’s Centre, based on Orange Street in Sheffield city centre, was set up 1996 to provide a safe haven for street drinkers.
The day centre offers a self-help support group, food and access to medical services.
It sees about 150 regular drinkers, classed as vulnerable because of their chaotic lifestyles, a year.
But staff and volunteers now fear for its future after being given until Friday, August 1, to find new premises.
Their landlord wants to develop the entire building into flats.
Sue Smith, Ben’s Centre manager, said: “We have occupied a small part of a large complex which has been empty for some time. We were aware a developer was in the process of converting the building into several flats and at some point we would need to move out.
“We have been working hard to try and find other suitable premises, which is not been easy.
“However, we are in negotiations to try and secure suitable premises.
“I understand the developer wants to complete the work, but the time frame given us puts us under huge pressure.
“It came as a shock and frankly Ben’s Centre is in danger of having to close.
“This would deprive some of the most vulnerable people in Sheffield of a vital service.
“We have a stock of clothes and other items to try to find space for. The storage of these donated items will also become a major issue.”
n Anyone able to help Ben’s Centre, which suffered a flood after pipes were stolen last winter, should call 0114 279 9961.