Street community given hand

Members of the street community were given help and advice to try and turn their lives around through a Pop Up Hub in Eastbourne last week.

Pop up Hubs bring together workers from mental health services, substance misuse services and housing officers, as well as support from the local Neighbourhood Policing Team.

In total, 51 people attended the hub if whom 45 were assessed and plans put in place to address their housing, health and substance misuse issues. 16 people who had been sleeping rough were offered emergency accommodation and plans for longer term housing agreed.

The Eastbourne event was organised by Sussex Police and supported by Eastbourne Borough Council as part of the Sussex Homeless Outreach Reconnection & Engagement initiative in partnership with CRI, primary care, Sussex Partnership, Probation, Action for Change and the Salvation Army.

Hubs are the pathway through which members of the street community can be connected with vital local services and accommodation - they are traditionally run in community centres or church halls for a period of up to three days.

For the first time in East Sussex, the hub was piloted at the Salvation Army in Langney Road for three days. Homelessness charity Broadway provided the outreach and assessment service for the hub.

As well as reducing the vulnerability of the street community, hubs can also reduce demands on local services. Following the event, Broadway said it was the most well attended hub they have held so far.

Chief Inspector Steve Biglands played an instrumental part in bringing the scheme to the area and said, “I am delighted everyone has come together to bring this concept to Eastbourne.

“Working together with our partners and coordinating our services we are in a much better position to respond to the needs of this community and reduce their vulnerability.

“The concept of the hub is incredibly simple and recognises that people who live chaotic lifestyles will not always take steps to access the many different services from which they would benefit.”

Councillor Margaret Bannister, portfolio holder for communities, said, “Working in partnership is the only way we can effectively help the street community and so I am delighted that the Pop Up Hub has launched locally. The council is committed to playing its part in improving communities and this initiative will be a vital part of that process.”

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said, “I’m pleased to see this innovative, multi-agency approach to engaging with the street community, who can be incredibly vulnerable.”