South Shields club helping homeless and vulnerable people to close

A club which has become a lifeline for South Tyneside's homeless and vulnerable people is set to close.

Horizons, run by NECA (North East Council on Addictions) has been offering breakfasts to needy people for the past eleven months in Beach Road, South Shields.

Over that time, it has catered for around 300 people- some who have been helped into accommodation or supported with other issues affecting their daily lives.

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But now, due to what is believed to be a change in contracts for the running of the substance misuse service, the breakfast club will close,

It has left many who see the club as a place of safety devastated.

One 62-year-old who attends the club said: “I have been coming for a couple of months. I found out about it through word of mouth.

“I was homeless and on the streets then I found somewhere to live. The club gives you somewhere to come and relax and they have people coming in from outside agencies to give support.

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“When you have been in the situation I have, you find it hard to talk to people and to trust them. But they support you.

“The team have made a big impact on the people who have come here, they have helped people into accommodation and it’s somewhere people can come and have a meal.

“It’s hard for a lot of people as they have gone through a tough times. I can’t understand why the place has to close.

“For some people the club is their lifeline. It gives them a reason to get up on a morning and keep going. To know it’s closing, is devastating.”

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One 37-year-old who attends the club said: “They do a fantastic job. It’s only been open 11 months, it’s just getting established. People are happy when they come here.

“I have been coming here a long time and it means the world to me. It means a lot to everyone. The club gives me some focus.

“Closing this, is really going to affect me.”

The project manager confirmed the closure of the breakfast club but was unable to comment further.