Schemes to help vulnerable

The Salvation Army Citadel Langney Road Eastbourne January 30th 2014 E04105Q
The Salvation Army Citadel Langney Road Eastbourne January 30th 2014 E04105Q

Members of the street community were given help and advice earlier this month at a Pop Up Hub in the town.

The event was held at the Eastbourne Salvation Army Citadel in the run up to Poverty and Homelessness Action Week (January 25 - February 2).

The session saw 45 people assessed and plans put in place to address their housing, health and substance misuse issues. Sixteen people who had been sleeping rough were offered seven nights emergency accommodation paid for by Eastbourne Borough Council.

Elsewhere volunteers from across the town have been lending their support to charities and organisations to provide hot meals and advice to the community’s homeless and vulnerable residents.

The Fatfleshed homeless project offers people the chance to enjoy a free meal on a Saturday evening at All Soul’s Church Hall and volunteers are also out in force on Sunday mornings in Hyde Gardens checking on the welfare of those in need and offering hot drinks and rolls. The project can also provide sleeping bags and clothing.

The Salvation Army runs a day centre for the homeless and vulnerable and on Tuesday and Thursday evenings they can also enjoy a hot meal at the citadel. It is also involved, alongside eight churches in the town, in the winter night shelter scheme where people are provided with a meal, a place to sleep for the night and breakfast in the morning. The project runs from December 1 until the morning of March 1.

The Matthew 25 Mission, based at Brodie Hall in Seasdie, aims to support people trying to rebuild broken lives, especially those with life-threatening addiction, loneliness, bereavement, unemployment,homelessness and offending.

Councillor Margaret Bannister, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Community Service, said, “The council has sadly seen an increase in the number of people coming to us for help and advice because they are finding it hard to find a place to live.

“We are introducing more training in housing and homelessness for our front line Customer Contact Centre team so that they can help people get to the right housing advice more quickly.

“We have doubled our direct provision of temporary accommodation this year to try and reduce the number of people who have to stay in a B&B because they are homeless. We also helped more than 50 people who are street homeless with our recent Hub. There is still lots to do and the council is doing all it can to try and help people put a roof over their heads. We are for example this year alone starting work on 43 new council-owned homes.”