Phil Heckels of Worthing (38), also known as Hercule Van Wolfwinkle, could never have believed that his “rubbish” drawings would raise over £20,000 in just over a month for our charity. He has been plunged into the limelight – becoming a global sensation overnight! Overwhelming support of this local artist has raised the profile of homelessness in our community and raised an enormous amount to support local men and women who have nowhere to call home.
The charity really has been such a godsend. If I could rate them on an app, I would press on the five stars all day long. Without their support and those who help fund the charity, I honestly do not know where I would be right now. It honestly frightens me to think about it.
This last year my life has been like a game of Jenga with blocks falling rapidly one after the other. I never want to sleep rough or become homeless ever again. I so desperately want to go back to some sort of normal and Turning Tides is giving me that opportunity. I know my story is one of many and I’m not out of the woods yet but I am proof that becoming homeless can happen to anyone – especially now. I cannot believe it happened to me and I’ll be forever grateful to Turning Tides and all those who support them.
When you live on the streets, you just can’t see how you are going to do anything else with your life. It takes everything out of you to just survive and you lose hope of achieving anything else. Gradually, depression, despair and embarrassment took hold and as my circle of friends decreased, I had no one to turn to. For five long years, I simply survived.
This year brings significant hope for homeless men and women in Littlehampton as local homeless charity, Turning Tides, prepares to open a newly developed drop in Community Hub later this summer. For the first time, the Hub will also be supported by six new bedrooms offering a much needed lifeline for people who are homeless or sleeping rough.
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.