Emergency Hotel Accommodation Ceases in Worthing
TURNING TIDES OFFICIAL STATEMENT: 26th June 2020
Update - local cooperation enables rapid response for over 50 people at risk of street homelessness
We can confirm that all of the homeless men and women who were staying in the Chatsworth Hotel in Worthing, West Sussex, have now been offered alternative accommodation.
We have managed to absorb 16 of the 54 Chatsworth residents into our own projects, which places our services and staff under continued and significant pressure.
To have achieved this outcome, in such a short space of time, is entirely due to the extraordinary efforts of our own dedicated team, our colleagues at Worthing Borough Council, and the supportive approach taken by the Chatsworth owners and many of the wider community. We are full of praise for all of them.
Three important points remain. Firstly, many of the alternative housing arrangements found for the Chatsworth residents are temporary. These arrangements may not be available beyond the end of July.
We welcome the Government’s announcement earlier this week that more funds will be released to support homeless men and women beyond the ‘Everyone In’ initiative. But we will watch closely to see how far that money stretches across the country and, in particular, if any of those funds enable meaningful changes in the lives of the local men and women we support.
Secondly, our statement released earlier this week (below) described how the ‘Everyone In’ policy marked a historic moment. When local authorities, charities and hotels pulled together to bring everyone indoors this amounted to an unprecedented coalition of the willing between the public, charity and commercial sectors. To discover that such vision, cooperation and compassion can be so rapidly upended by the decision of an insurer remains profoundly troubling. It is our understanding the insurers were made aware of the consequences of their decision.
We look to our colleagues at a national level to ensure this doesn’t happen elsewhere and have consequently been in contact with the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government.
Finally - and most importantly - the fear and distress experienced by the Chatsworth residents this last week has been enormous. In many cases, this has happened to people whose lives were already affected by severe trauma. We remain in a pandemic and our collective efforts this week may well have saved lives. However, rebuilding lives is a different matter – and that process requires stability and commitment.
Our dedicated staff and volunteers will continue to support these homeless men and women in the weeks and months to come, to help them build the stable and brighter future they deserve.
Vital donations can be made to our Emergency Appeal
TURNING TIDES' OFFICIAL STATEMENT: 23rd June 2020
Emergency hotel accommodation ceases for homeless men and women in Worthing
We are dismayed to confirm that some local emergency hotel accommodation for homeless men and women is due to cease unexpectedly this Thursday 25th June. This change pertains to one hotel in the Worthing area, which has recently been housing some 50 homeless people.
We have been advised that this rapid and unforeseen change of events is the result of a decision made by the hotel’s insurers and that the hotel and other partners have been unsuccessful in their efforts to try and alter this decision.
Since learning of this, just a few days ago, we have been working around the clock with our partners at Worthing Council, to find alternative accommodation for these homeless men and women, who are now at immediate risk of being returned to the streets.
It is of huge credit to our frontline staff and colleagues at the council that alternative accommodation has been found for the majority of the hotel residents - some of this within our own services. Nevertheless, at the time of writing there are 19 people for whom no suitable accommodation has yet been identified.
We will continue to search tirelessly for solutions but we are also planning the provision of food and sleeping bags for those that cannot be housed beyond Thursday. It is deeply concerning to find the people we support in this unexpected and unacceptable situation.
We knew the hotel accommodation was due to end, but expected to have until the end of July to source alternative arrangements.
We are already facing an unprecedented demand for our services, as increased numbers of people are presenting as homeless due to the wider implications of Covid-19. Our staff and services are stretched to the limit.
We therefore ask for the support and kindness of the public as we help these homeless men and women through the days, weeks and months to come.
Vital donations can be made to our Emergency Appeal
We would also be grateful to hear from anybody with a vacant property at this time.
We are very grateful to both the hotel and Worthing Council for their efforts over the last few months, as we have pulled together to support some of our local community’s most vulnerable people. We are also fully supportive of local authorities, such as Worthing Council, who have not yet received sufficient central government funding to meet their Covid-19 temporary accommodation costs.
Homeless men and women were offered hotel accommodation earlier this year to protect them from the spread of Covid-19. Even without the threat of a deadly virus, homeless men and women die 30 years sooner than the rest of the population. These vulnerable people were therefore offered emergency accommodation as part of the government’s ‘Everyone In’ initiative.
When ‘Everyone In’ was announced, it brought the most extraordinary mobilization of people and resources - these two small words marked a truly historic moment. Within a few weeks, 90% of the country’s rough sleepers were given an offer of temporary accommodation as local authorities worked hand in hand with the charity sector and hotels. Our own frontline keyworkers risked their health to search the streets and countryside for rough sleepers throughout West Sussex to bring them indoors.
Our staff and volunteers will continue to do everything they can to support and protect homeless men and women throughout this ongoing public health emergency.