£9m for homeless project

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A massive £9.2 million Lottery handout is being used to help people in Eastbourne deal with problems such as homelessness, mental illness, addiction and reoffending.

The Big Lottery Fund awarded the grant to Brighton Housing Trust, which helps people in Eastbourne as well as Brighton and Hastings, to improve and better co-ordinate services to tackle the needs of people living chaotic lives.

The Big Lottery Fund’s investment has brought together organisations and bodies that tackle these issues to improve the stability, confidence and capability of people with multiple and complex needs to lead better lives so they spend less time in prison, reduce their drug abuse, are in stable accommodation and have better mental health.

People with multiple needs often lack effective contact with services that meet not just one, but all of their complex problems. This funding is enabling different services to work together to provide tailored support addressing all their problems, preventing people from falling through the gaps in service provision or rotating around various different services.

Alcoholic-specific hospital stays for Eastbourne’s 18-year-olds was 86 per 100,000 people in 2010, significantly above the national average of 61. In 2011, 78 per cent of people in drug misuse treatment in East Sussex lived in Eastbourne and Hastings.

The aim of the project in Brighton & Hove, Eastbourne and Hastings is to move away from the making people who are living extremely chaotic lives fit the needs of the system, to a system that fits the needs of the individual.

Individual action plans will be developed and one to one specialist support will be provided. Staff will ensure that people have access to and make the best use of services that have not been previously accessed. The partnership will have a rapid response fund to provide emergency accommodation, clothing and food.

Nikki Homewood of BHT said, “This funding from the Big Lottery Fund will enable a network of agencies across Brighton and Hove, Eastbourne and Hastings to work together with service users, maximising their collective knowledge and skills, to develop new ways of working with people with the most complex needs.

“The South East Regional Partnership will focus on those people who, due to the complexity of their multiple needs, are unable to access existing services well, or at all.

“New ways of working and the learning gained from this, will achieve long-lasting improvements to individuals’ lives and services, and how resources are spent. We are confident that our project will be instrumental in bringing about both positive outcomes for some of society’s most vulnerable men and women.”