Shelter: the year so far

The trustees of homelessness charity Shelter will be hoping the appointment of Adam Sampson as its new director will draw a line under what has been a difficult year for the charity
Matt Weaver
Tue 8 Oct 2002 19.11 EDT

Shelter's trustees may not publicly admit that 2002 has been an annus horribilis but they would certainly agree that it has been an eventful year.

Here are some of the highs and lows of the year so far

Lows

February
After eight months of detailed merger negotiations with the rough sleepers charity Crisis the talks collapse. Shelter barely conceals its annoyance with Crisis' board, which pulls out of the talks at the last minute. Shelter's chairman Peter Robson expresses his "disappointment" and says Shelter "still believes in the vision of a single national homelessness charity".

May
Shelter announces the "retirement" of Chris Holmes, its director of the past seven years.

July
Chris Holmes breaks his confidentiality agreement about the nature of his departure by revealing all the acrimonious details to the Hlcarpenter.com. He says he was forced to resign over allegations of alcohol abuse and also alleges that Shelter breached its own disciplinary rules in the way in which it handled his dismissal.

September
Shelter's founder Des Wilson says the charity has lost its edge and calls for a "New Shelter" because he says the old one is no longer doing what is required.

Highs

March
After meeting the government's target of reducing the number of rough sleepers by two-thirds the homelessness tsar and former Shelter deputy director Louise Casey announces a new strategy to prevent homelessness. The strategy includes a target for abolishing the use of bed and breakfast hotels for families following successful lobbying by Shelter and others.

June
The Homelessness Act 2002 comes into force restoring the duty on councils to provide settled accommodation for homeless people. Much of the detail of the act, which also included a duty for councils to prevent homelessness, was drafted by Shelter's legal team.

July
The government reveals it is considering changes to the right-to-buy rules to protect the dwindling supply of affordable homes. Earlier in the month Shelter had warned a committee of MPs that councils' homes were being lost to the right to buy at almost three times the rate that new ones were being built.

October
Shelter appoints Adam Sampson as its new director.