Homelessness charity Carr Gomm seeks new office

Homelessness charity Carr Gomm seeks new office

Homelessness charity Car Gomm will be without an office by the end of August.

Carr Gomm is a national organisation which offers care and support and provides a homeless prevention support service for Argyll and Bute Council.

The charity’s office is based in Donmor House, Albany Street in Oban’s town centre. It currently benefits from cheap rent as the building is owned by Blue Triangle, a social care charity. However, Blue Triangle is now in need of the office for a new project and Carr Gomm has to vacate the building by August 26.

Susan Collins, Carr Gomm’s Oban manager, said: “We are struggling to find an alternative base that is both affordable and located centrally for us to be able to continue to offer our free support services to the community of Oban.

“Any potential leads of spaces that we can approach for rent would be really appreciated.”

Many of the offices being considered in Oban’s town centre costs double what the charity currently pays, The Press and Journal reports.

Mrs Collins added: “We have been based in Donmore House for 16 years. We have rented the premises from Blue Triangle since 2012. What we have noticed, especially during the pandemic, is that we are some of the only bodies able to operate a face-to-face service.

“Our drop-in service in Oban particularly became really well utilised. We adapted our service so we could hold different drop-in times, rather than having everyone coming in at the same time.

“Sometimes people have difficulty claiming what they are entitled to. Not everybody has access to the internet. Over the last year we have managed to award more than 100 iPads to help people look for employment. We have managed to distribute 120 so far, that has really helped people to find work.

“Now that we are losing our premises, the difficulty is trying to find somewhere that is as easily accessible for the community.

“We are acutely aware of the difficulties people have obtaining affordable accommodation in Oban. With tourism picking up there is less accommodation available for housing, which is driving up rental costs. The cost of office space is also quite high.”

Carr Gomm has the option of the use of temporary office space near Oban’s Lorn and Islands Hospital. However, this is not ideal as it is not easily accessible to people in the town centre. They will also be able to use a room in the Rockfield Centre for a drop-in session once a week.

However, the charity still requires a permanent base. Carr Gomm has sent out a plea on social media looking for suggestions for new premises.

Mrs Collins said: “Whatever the outcome we are committed to continuing to deliver our services and look forward to seeing you wherever we may be.”

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