The problems experienced at the hostel for the homeless in Lyndhurst Road in recent months have subsided and a number of initiatives to tackle homelessness in general, and also the problem of begging, are being actioned or investigated.
Speaking at a meeting of the East Worthing Neighbourhood Panel last Tuesday evening, Sue Stevens, of Turning Tides, said that numbers at the hostel had fallen slightly and some 20 people had been placed in temporary accommodation, although there were some who were not prepared to engage with the outreach workers.
The onset of freezing temperatures has resulted in the implementation of the Severe Weather Emergency Protocols (SWEP) which recommend that shelters be opened when temperatures are zero degrees or below for three days or more to prevent loss of life.
Adur and Worthing Councils has opened two cold-weather shelters in Worthing, staffed by expert teams from the council and Turning Tides.
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All shelters are currently full, including the Worthing Winter Night Shelters, but the Street Outreach Team is out every night. Most rough sleepers are local people.
Instances of begging were reported in Madeira Avenue and Sue explained the law on begging, which is a criminal offence in a public place, although the police will not enforce the ban unless a nuisance is involved.
Turning Tides is engaged in setting up a contactless giving scheme, which will need to be implemented in conjunction with other charities as there will be costs involved.
Such a scheme – known as Tap N’ Go giving – is already widespread in London and elsewhere, enabling small donations to be made by tapping cards or mobile devices, and Sue believes that its adoption in Worthing would go a long way towards stopping begging.
The Tarring Community Forum will meet on Tuesday at 7pm at the West Tarring Baptist Chuch Centre, South Street, Tarring.
• Tim Drew is the secretary and press officer for the Worthing Neighbourhood Watch Association. For more information about the Worthing & Adur Neighbourhood Watch Associations click here.
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