Leader 'appalled' at homeless attacks in Chichester
Following the torching of two homeless peoples belongings in Chichester, the leader of the district council has issued a statement.
The statement announced plans to help people facing homelessness with a new fund and help those who are rough sleeping with plans to provide 17 units for single people.
Eileen Lintill, leader of Chichester District Council, said: "I was appalled when I discovered that someone had burnt the possessions of a rough sleeper in Chichester.
"Those who sleep on the street are vulnerable and they need our support, not abuse. Rough sleeping is something that we all want to reduce and combat.
'Dark side of Chichester' appears as homeless person's belongings torched
"As a council we are working closely with our partners to help rough sleepers in a variety of ways. Every day, our dedicated Outreach Workers, go out to offer support to all rough sleepers. Their dedication and perseverance has meant that lives have been changed.
"Some of those who have accepted support are now in temporary accommodation and getting back into work. Others are engaging with services and starting to turn their lives around.
"Unfortunately, not everyone will accept our help – but this does not stop us continuing to offer it. If you are concerned about an individual rough sleeping, please let us know by filling in the details on www.streetlink.org.uk
By working together we can make a difference
"This referral will go directly to our Outreach Worker, who will attempt to find the individual and assess their needs. Our officer works very closely with Stonepillow, a registered charity, which provides a lifeline for homeless people with a drop in day centre providing the opportunity to access services and support and a hostel.
"The council provides an annual grant towards their work and we also provided additional funding to enable them to open their Chichester Hub seven days a week.
"We are very proud to support Stonepillow because they support homeless and vulnerable people who want to make a positive change in their lives. Tackling street homelessness requires more than just meeting the day to day needs of rough sleepers.
Providing shelter is a start, but people need long term support to help them leave the streets for good. Stonepillow provides vital support 365 days a year.
It provides a complete recovery journey to help people find independent accommodation they call home.
"You can find out more by visiting www.stonepillow.org.uk."
There are some really kind hearted people in our district
Cllr Lintill went on to say the district council had set up a £2.1 million project to help people in our community facing homelessness.
She said: "I’m also pleased to say that we are moving forward with a £2.1 million project to provide additional temporary accommodation for people facing homelessness.
"Subject to planning permission, the council is planning to redevelop one of its properties and transform it into accommodation that will provide 17 units for single people who are homeless and vulnerable.
If planning permission is granted, we hope that work will start on site later this year. We are also developing a new housing strategy, which will incorporate further initiatives to help reduce homelessness and rough sleeping.
"We know that there are some really kind hearted people in our district, and many people provide rough sleepers with money and items. If you do want to help, please consider donating to charities such as Stonepillow, HEART and the Greater Change, rather than giving money directly.
"By supporting these charities you can be assured that the money will be used to provide the right kind of help and support needed by those who are living on the streets. By donating, volunteering, fundraising or attending one of their events, you can help them to continue their crucial work to support and empower people to recover from homelessness.
"By working together we can make a difference."