A house for Huddersfield’s homeless boasts facilities that wouldn’t disgrace a three-star hotel including a roof top terrace with panoramic views of the town.

The only problem is that the rough sleeper culture is such that those for whom it has been designed would often rather sleep in shop doorways or run the risk of being reversed over as they sleep in multi-storey car parks.

On Tuesday I was given a tour round Clare House, a multi-million pound project aimed at tackling homelessness which has just celebrated its first six months helping people off the streets.

It opened on November 30 and in that time has helped 87 people who were homeless or sleeping rough on the streets of the town.

The £2.2m project was built by housing provider Home Group, the UK’s largest care and support provider. Home Group runs the service with funding from Kirklees Council.

The development was built in the Clare Hill area and offers accommodation to 20 people at any one time. Since it opened it has provided accommodation to 38 people and provided help to a further 49 rough sleepers get off the streets.

The house is expertly managed by senior client service manager Paula Loftus who has vast experience in helping the homeless get their lives back on track.

Clare House, Clare Hill, Huddersfield. Clare House celebrates six months on addressing the problems of homeless people. Manager, Paula Loftus in the gym with artwork by one of the residents.

She said: “Nearly 80 per cent of people who come here have some kind of mental health problems.

“We offer a whole package. So when a client moves in they have a full support plan provided for them based around their individual needs.

“They have a safety plan put together and we look at problems with drugs, alcohol and complex trauma.

“Many of them have complex trauma often going back to their childhoods. Some people are here for a couple of weeks but they can be here as long as six months.

“People can find themselves homeless through a relationship or family breakdown and I think Clare House is really important in helping them get their lives back together.”

Although she says: “We don’t do rules” in fact she is an exemplar of a ‘firm but fair’ strategy with her quick to warn one client that if he wants to smoke it must be away from the house.

Paula added: “When people come here they just want a roof over their head. Eighty per cent of our clients are male and we even had a 76-year-old man. No-one should be on the streets at that age.”

Clare House, Clare Hill, Huddersfield. Clare House celebrates six months on addressing the problems of homeless people. Staff and residents paint the 'lifequote' tree in the reception area of Care house.

Rachael Byrne, Home Group executive director of care and support, said: “This service is doing a great job helping people who have found themselves homeless through no fault of their own.

“I’ve met with residents at an open day who came to the service at a vulnerable time in their lives, received the support they needed and are now thriving living independently in their own private tenancies.

“Homelessness really can affect anyone and Kirklees Council should be congratulated for identifying the need for this service and the part it can play in helping people rebuild their lives.”

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Clr Naheed Mather, Cabinet member for housing said: “The council is delighted with the Clare House development, the facility will help lots of people take the first step off the streets, allowing them to get the help they need.

“Homeless people often want to get off the streets but without an address it is difficult to access the support they need to do that.

“Facilities like this not only provide them with a safe place to sleep but also help them to take that first step to rebuilding their lives.”

Clare House is made up of 20 individual bedrooms each with their own en-suite bathroom.

Groups of four bedrooms each share communal living areas such as kitchens and a living room.

There’s also a table tennis table and opportunity for the more artistic clients to enjoy painting pictures on one of the walls.

Sadly, although the roof top terrace is indeed idyllic with views of the John Smith’s Stadium and the mast at Emley, Paula has to be careful when it comes to clients accessing it given that some of them might take the opportunity to jump off.

Mrs Byrne added: “The set up allows residents to have a private place of their own but also to benefit from communal living and to share experiences and support with people in similar circumstances.”

Apart from providing accommodation for homeless people staff at the service also run a rough sleeper referral service.

This involves teams of at least two staff members approaching rough sleepers in the town and trying to engage with them to help them access accommodation.