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Making homelessness everyone's business: Councils launch Rough Sleeping Action Week as numbers of rough sleepers fall by a third

Released: Friday, 08 March 2019

A 30% fall in the number of rough sleepers across Adur and Worthing is all thanks to pioneering partnership work.

With homelessness on the rise across the UK, Adur & Worthing Councils have joined with charities, the police, the NHS and other organisations to step up the support for those most in need.

Government figures show this approach is working, with the numbers of rough sleepers across the area dropping from 36 last year to 24 in 2018/19.

PR19-047 - Carl and rough sleeper

To highlight this and to explain the work undertaken in more detail, the Councils are launching Rough Sleeping Action Week on Monday 11th March.

Throughout next week, stories will be shared from the front line with the public in a series of blogs from a range of staff and partners.

From managing assessment beds for people discharged from hospital, to running cold-weather shelters and working direct with the local police force, the stories will highlight the complex life-saving work which takes place every day of the year across our communities.

Photo: At the Night Shelter, clearing up after an evening's meal

PR19-047 - Night shelter

The campaign will also pinpoint ways the public can help rough sleepers, offering advice for those who want to support people on the streets by connecting them to key organisations and local services.

Cllr Carson Albury, Adur District Council's Executive Member for Customer Services, said:

“The causes of homelessness and rough sleeping are extremely complex with no one case the same. This campaign highlights that, as well as shining a light on some of the pioneering partnership work which our excellent teams are delivering every day of the year. Homelessness really is everyone's business and we can all play our role in supporting those affected.”

Cllr Heather Mercer, Worthing Borough Council's Executive Member for Customer Services, said:

“We are pleased to see the recent figures showing a positive reduction in the number of rough sleepers across our community. Working closely with partners and local charities, we have worked hard to address homelessness and rough sleeping and provide a range of services. However, there is still more to be done, and we must not forget that homelessness and rough sleeping are issues which can affect some of the most vulnerable people throughout the year, not just during the winter months.”

Video: Rough Sleeping Action Week: Interview with Cllr Heather Mercer

The fall in rough sleeping comes on the back of a funding boost for Worthing Borough Council last year, after the government pledged £270,00 for 2018/19 and £340,000 to the area for 2019/20 through the Rough Sleeping Initiative Fund.

The money has been used to fund a dedicated rough sleeper coordinator as well as outreach workers to provide greater support to those in need, assessment beds for those discharged from hospital or mental health units, and a dedicated employment and skills coach to support individuals into work. It has also funded two units of accommodation, three complex needs workers, a mental health support worker. The work has been supported by Worthing Winter Night Shelter which opened earlier this year.

Photo: Members of the Councils' Housing Team with colleagues from charity Turning Tides

PR19-047 - Council and Turning Tides


You may also be interested in our homelessness blog:


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