Government funds used to improve services for Worthing's homeless

Government funds of more than £340,000 will ensure Adur and Worthing councils can continue to offer vital support to homeless people in our communities in 2019.

Wednesday, 2nd January 2019, 3:25 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 11:31 am
The government funds are helping the council provide services for the homeless

Worthing was one of 84 council across the UK to benefit from the government funding this September, which was aimed at areas which have the highest numbers of rough sleepers in the country.

For the third and final instalment of the Herald and Gazette’s Christmas homelessness campaign, Adur and Worthing councils told us how that money is being used to benefit vulnerable people until the spring of 2020.

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Extra staff and services have been funded in partnership with key local charities – including Turning Tides and the Worthing Winter Night Shelter, which is co-ordinated by Storm Ministries, a council spokesman said.

The shelter has opened earlier this winter and additional outreach workers have been taken on to work with rough sleepers with complex needs and in remote locations.

The money has also been used to fund two assessment beds for new rough sleepers, beds for homeless people being discharged from hospital, two longer term temporary accommodation units and an employment and skills coach, the spokesman said.

Closer work with voluntary and community sector organisations to run emergency night shelters in cold weather has been made possible, as well as extra support for those at risk of tenancies being ended.

Councillor Heather Mercer, executive member for customer services, said: “Rough sleeping and homelessness is increasing across the UK.

“This is due to a ‘perfect storm’ of high rents, a limited supply of affordable housing and changes to the benefits system.

“We in Worthing are very fortunate to have an excellent network of organisations who work together to support those in need.

“We will continue this work to ensure that those who are most in need receive this vital support.”

A spokesman added that the council also recognises that businesses and residents can play their part.

This includes connecting rough sleepers to local support services via the Streetlink app, buying those on the street food and hot drinks rather than gifting money and reporting any instances of antisocial behaviour to the police.