Recent government figures have shown that rough sleeping increased 26% in a single year in 2022*. Turning Tides’ services include community hubs, offering people sleeping rough somewhere to go to get advice, support, hot food and shower. But not everyone is able to access these.
Our new mobile hub – a converted double-decker bus generously donated by The Danny Gallivan Trust – allows us to connect directly with the ‘hidden homeless’ in remote areas.
People experiencing homelessness in rural areas have often lived with many years of acute social exclusion and isolation, which has only been worsened by the pandemic. This means they can be extremely vulnerable and with severe mental or physical ill health, and may have fled violence. The bus offers a fundamental start to their journey out of homelessness – representing a much-needed safety net.
Turning Tides has extensive experience working in the more remote districts, with outreach teams searching the area regularly. The bus offers the flexible mobile approach to supporting people that was evidently needed.
The bus has been adapted to offer the same life-saving services we offer in our static community hubs, and is fitted with a kitchenette, shower, toilet, washing machine, IT resources, private meeting space for advice and counselling, and a comfortable seating area. It currently spends two days a week on the road in rural West Sussex, reaching people in eight locations – with hopes to widen its reach over time.
Through your donation you can help someone like Turning Tides client Andy, who has experienced homelessness and credits the charity with helping him to rebuild his life. He is now helping others as one of the volunteer bus drivers. Andy says: “I had nowhere else to go. I know people who have become homeless and lost hope, and I know how that feels. Homelessness can take your dignity away – you don’t feel human. It is a very dark lonely place. Turning Tides offer so much – shelter, warmth, fellowship. They have been so helpful and understanding and through the charity I feel I have grown. I have such a better life now than I had before. This bus and the charity are life-saving.”
But we need your help. All our community hubs – including the new mobile service – are at risk due to a significant funding shortfall.
We would be very grateful if you could please donate as much as you feel able to. If you would like to get in touch before making a donation, please contact email@example.com, and someone will get back to you.
Our mobile hub only exists through the generosity of The Danny Gallivan Trust, which gifted it to Turning Tides. Adapting the bus into a hub was made possible through funding from the CAF Resilience Fund. The project has also been supported by Souter Charitable Trust, Compass Travel and Bucks Body Shop. Horsham District Council and Mid Sussex District Council have helpfully assisted with locations and parking. A small team of generous volunteers are driving the bus and the charity are also seeking more.
Find out more about our Frontline Appeal, protecting the future of both our static community hubs and new mobile hub.