New hostel for rough sleepers is on the way from Stonepillow
Extra provision is coming to help the homeless this year.
On April 1, charity Stonepillow will open a brand new hostel in Bognor Regis.
The charity has purchased a former drug rehabilition centre in Ellasdale Road and a £1.2m refurbishment is taking place to open it as a 14 en-suite beds shelter.
Its current facility in the town, Glenlogie, will continue as a day centre three days a week, with the dormitory rooms kept for extra provision.
Stonepillow also operates a 10-bed hostel in Hunston and day hub in Chichester and its new hostel will help meet the growing demand on services.
Stonepillow joint interim chief executive Fiona Macleod said: “We have purchased the property in Bognor and we’ve literally gutted it and added a huge extension on the back.”
Glenlogie is cramped and Arun District Council owned, so the new Stonepillow-owned hostel will provide greater stability to the charity and its clients.
Around £500,000 has come from a Homes and Communities Agency grant.
Stonepillow wants the new facility to be open 24 hours but in order for this to happen it needs to raise £98,000.
A fundraising appeal has just been launched, with a number of events planned, including a skydive on April 21 and a ten to 60km Goodwood walk in May.
“At the moment our hostel is only open at night, so it means people have to leave in the morning,” Fiona said.
“If we can open for 24 hours it means people staying there won’t have to be out, we can engage with them during the day about their problems.
“The reality is that we work with people with alcohol and drug dependency so it’s much easier to help them in the morning than the evening.”
A major refurbishment of the Chichester day hub has also been a big success, with clients heavily involved in its revamp and one homeless man in particular benefitting.
“A client told us he used to be a project manager so we let him project manage the whole thing,” Fiona said.
“He completely stopped drinking, after that he accessed our recovery service and through that started volunteering and now he works alongside our maintenance team.”
An ‘experiment’ there has also worked. Fiona said: “We were finding that people were very intoxicated when they were coming into the hub so for three weeks we asked people to go away and come back later in the afternoon.
“Interestingly the numbers started to go up, people felt more comfortable coming to the hub and since then the numbers have kept rising.”
Stonepillow offers a wide range of services for people on the streets.
Its recovery service at its 12-bed abstinence house in Bognor and its restore service, offering people work placements, are both enjoying particular success.
More about Stonepillow at http://stonepillow.org.uk/