Chichester councillor Jane Kilby has explained why the authority has agreed to fund a rough sleeper outreach worker.
The role of the person who takes up the position will be to help the homeless access accommodation and rebuild their lives.
Jane, cabinet member for housing at Chichester District Council, said: “The reasons why people become homeless can be extremely complex, and quite often they require much more support than just a roof over their heads.
“In many cases, people are offered accommodation, only to turn it down. This is because they have other issues that need to be resolved and supported.
“Since 2016, Chichester District Council and Arun District Council have shared a homeless outreach worker who supports the homeless across both areas.
“This role has made significant strides in bringing all of the relevant agencies together to support those who are homeless and they have developed trusting relationships with their clients. Due to the success of this role, and the fact that we recognise that each area has different issues, we have both decided to invest in our own outreach worker.
“We are very lucky that we also have the support from Stonepillow, who are one of our key partners. We know that a lot of residents want to support the homeless. The best way to do this is by donating to Stonepillow, which plays such a crucial role locally in helping people to get back on their feet.”
Since 2010, the number of rough sleepers in the Chichester district has ranged from 14 to 26. There are currently 18 known individuals sleeping rough in the district.
The council says these include a handful of rough sleepers who intermittently engage with homeless services and transient rough sleepers, who “stay in the district for a period of time before moving on. Although the number of rough sleepers has not increased, the visibility of rough sleeping, particularly in the city centre, has increased over the past five years”.
Jane adds: “Our staff, along with partner agencies, work very hard to help the rough sleepers in our district get back on their feet. This post will provide further resources to assess the needs of individuals and bring partners together to create a package of support to help them move into settled accommodation.