Community outreach workers employed by Adur and Worthing Councils are out on the streets during the current cold spell helping find rough sleepers accommodation.
As temperatures have plummeted the Councils have implemented a Severe Weather Emergency Protocol which sees teams on the streets on a daily basis connecting with anyone rough sleeping. A drop-in session in Worthing every Tuesday builds relationships and helps the team to signpost services available to help.
The street community can be directed to shelters or in the case of the most vulnerable emergency accommodation if they want it.
In addition the outreach workers liaise closely with the Councils’ housing solutions team and Worthing Churches Homeless Projects. So far 12 people have been given temporary accommodation and those who declined have been given contact details in case they change their mind. Other people out begging late at night have assured the teams they have somewhere to go or have declined accommodation offers.
Cllr Dr Heather Mercer, Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Customer Services, said: “I want to assure local residents that we will be doing everything in our power to get rough sleepers into the warm with a roof over their head.
“Our outreach teams are exceptionally dedicated and they will ensure no-one need spend time on the streets in this bitterly cold weather.”
Cllr Carson Albury, Adur District Council’s Executive Member for Customer Services, said: “Our teams are involved in constantly monitoring the situation with rough sleepers and liaising with partners to ensure they are out of the cold. This is part of what we do normally but of course has extra urgency during this cold spell.”
Cllrs Dr Mercer and Albury urged members of the public to either contact Streetlink online (https://www.streetlink.org.uk
Alternatively the Councils can be contacted on 01903 221063 in office hours at the Councils’ Housing Solutions team can be contacted out of hours on 01903 239999.
Meanwhile Sussex Police in Adur and Worthing have agreed that their Police Community Support Officers on the beat will also act as “eyes and ears” and report any issues with vulnerable people to the Councils’ teams.