A HOMELESS hub in Southampton has opened a refurbished kitchen and dining area following a fire last year.

Two Saints Day Centre in Cranbury Avenue supports and houses homeless people in the city by offering shelter, clothing, and medical care.

The centre had previously offered a daily breakfast club but this stopped after a fire caused by an electrical fault ripped through the building last November.

Ten months on, the homeless hub unveiled their newly refurbished self-catering kitchen and dining area, as the Lord Mayor of Southampton – Cllr Valerie Laurent – cut the ribbon during the grand reopening.

Stacey Harbut, Service Leader at Two Saints Day Centre, told the Echo: “It’s been a long journey.

“In November we had an electrical fire in one of our freezers, that could have happened to anyone, anywhere, so that was really hard for us because the kitchen is a huge part of our centre.

“We used to have a chef come in every morning and cook breakfast but with the new kitchen we decided to make it self-catering, so it allows those using it to develop their skills and become self-efficient.”

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She added: “I think it’s also important to break certain stereotypes regarding homeless people and show that they are able to look after themselves and can take skills they’ve got into the world with them.”

The homeless hub in the heart of Southampton helps between 50 and 70 individuals each day, as people who wouldn’t ordinarily have access to the internet are able to contact their families and develop positive relationships at the centre.

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The centre relies on donations from schools for food cooked in the kitchen, while Co-op donates supplies to Two Saints three times a week.

In a speech at the ribbon cutting ceremony, the Lord Mayor of Southampton told residents: “I think this is a fantastic project.

“It’s very important in life to be able to do your own thing, you’ll be able to be independent and develop your own skills.”

The Lord Mayor then playfully remarked: “I think we’re going to have some great new chefs here, aren’t we!

“I hope when you’ve all had some practice, you might invite me back for breakfast.”