EDITOR’S COMMENT: If there’s demand, why not meet need?

Barry Peters, editor ANL-141113-155212001

Barry Peters, editor ANL-141113-155212001

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In the 15 years I’ve edited the Bury Free Press, I’ve not come across John Room House. So let me explain.

John Room House is situated in Thetford and takes in the homeless, those who are drug and alcohol-dependent and those with mental issues, among others. For many, this is their last-chance saloon – if they mess up this chance and get evicted, they are pretty much on their own.

The trust-run hostel is almost always operating at capacity, with a waiting list of hopefuls.

Thank heavens for places such as this, which often operate off the radar (as this hostel has done with me). The fact that its residents are integrated back into society is to be both praised and welcomed – but it leaves me with a nagging question.

If John Room House manages to do such good with some of society’s challenging individuals, isn’t there a good reason for more of these hostels to spring up, funded by the taxpayer?