STAFF at a York hostel for the homeless are hoping that Vince Cable's visit will help raise its profile.

When the Lib Dem politician returned to his native city for the first time since becoming leader of his party, he toured Peasholme Centre in Fishergate.

The hostel has rooms for 22 homeless people, plus five emergency places, and provides structured help and advice for people with chaotic lifestyles to get their own home. Residents pay for their rooms.

Welcoming the visit, resettlement service manager Tim Carroll said: "Someone like Vince Cable does help raise our profile.

"We need to get homelessness higher up the agenda so we don't get forgotten about when decisions are made."

Among those Sir Vince spoke to during his brief visit was resident Ann, who lost her home through drinking too much.

Since getting a place at the hostel she has brought her habit under control and is looking forward to getting her own place again. She puts her success down to the hostel.

He also heard from staff how residents can face such severe financial problems when they are transferred from oldstyle benefits to universal credit the hostel has to provide them with free food for a month.

During his visit, Sir Vince saw the training facilities where homeless people are taught about how to deal with addiction, how to manage a budget and how to deal with everyday bureaucracy and tasks such as handling a tenancy.

He also saw the communal and catering facilities.

Peasholme Centre opened in its current location in 2009, having moved there from Stonebow.

It is the first step in a three step progression for homeless people, through hostel to independent living.

The hostel works in conjunction with other agencies including City of York Council and the ArcLight hostel for the homeless in finding accommodation for homeless people and dealing with their problems.

In December, the council became one of a handful of local authorities to achieve the Gold Standard national award for the way it manages and prevents homelessness.

It had to pass ten challenges to achieve the award.