Homelessness in Chichester on the rise, charity says

A person sleeping rough in a doorway.
A person sleeping rough in a doorway.

Homelessness in Chichester is on rise according to homeless charity the Four Streets Project.

Volunteers for the Four Streets Project have recorded the number of homeless people they fed per night from March 1 through to May 30. The figures reveal the lowest number of homeless people fed in either North, South, East and West Street was four on March, in contrast with 19 people on May 18.

Red line: March; blue line: April; green line: May. Figures courtesy of the Four Streets Project

Red line: March; blue line: April; green line: May. Figures courtesy of the Four Streets Project

Founder of the Four Streets Project, Donna Ockenden, blamed the increase on the apparent failure of a number of support networks for people.

Donna Ockenden said: "We never miss a night. We are a 365-days-a-year service and we believe in a service based on dignity, respect and compassion.

"Our volunteers come from all walks of life but they volunteer with Four Streets because they care about the homeless and want to help bring dignity and compassion to what otherwise would be an extremely difficult existence."

"I think that the support networks that have been familiar to us in years gone by around mental health support have definitely reduced over time and we are seeing the effect of that reduction on our streets on a nightly basis.

"We also see a lot of people who return to the streets on an ongoing basis, managing time in their own accommodation for a short amount of time but what they will all say is they needed more support to enable them to remain housed and that support is often lacking from their perspective."

The Four Streets Project volunteers spend all their time in within the city wall visiting homeless people on the city's four streets so figures do not include those people sleeping rough outside that space.

For more information on the project and how to get involved contact Donna on admin@donnaockenden.com or visit the Facebook page here.