Worthing Borough Council has been awarded £271,000 by central government to help tackle rough sleeping.
The money will be used to fund extra staff and services for homeless people in the town in partnership with key local charities. These include the Worthing Churches Homelessness Project (WCHP) and the Worthing Winter Night Shelter, co-ordinated by Storm Ministries.
The Winter Night Shelter will open earlier this coming winter and additional outreach workers will be taken on to work with rough sleepers with complex needs.
In 2017, the number of rough sleepers in Worthing increased from 24 to 34, and is expected to grow further. In recognition of this, central government has awarded 83 councils, including Worthing, extra money to tackle rough sleeping.
The money, which will also benefit Adur rough sleepers, will also fund two assessment beds for new rough sleepers, beds for homeless people being discharged from hospital, and two longer term temporary accommodation units. Crucially, the funds will also be used to provide an employment and skills coach.
The entire programme will also be overseen by a new Rough Sleepers Co-ordinator for Worthing.
Cllr Heather Mercer, Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Customer Services, said: “I am delighted that Worthing Borough Council was successful in this bid for this essential ‘extra money’ to support the challenges of homelessness in Worthing.
“The council is committed to working in partnership to support this vulnerable community and already funds some outreach provision and a member of staff at WCHP Community Hub. This grant however has provided us with an opportunity to better support people at risk of rough sleeping and those who find themselves on the streets, to access the right support at the right time.”
Cllr David Simmons, Adur District Council’s Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “The extra funding is very welcome and with the help of local charities doing fantastic work, we can provide those essential extra local services to support vulnerable people who sadly find themselves on the street through no fault of their own.”
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