West Sussex homeless charity Turning Tides launches emergency funding appeal amid covid crisis
West Sussex homeless charity Turning Tides has launched an emergency appeal for public support amid a steep rise in homelessness.
The charity, which has a main hub in the Town Hall in Chapel Road, said it is seeing unprecedented numbers of people lose their livelihoods and their homes as a result of the pandemic.
It has launched an urgent appeal for donations via its website www.turning-tides.org.uk and is appealing to the community to donate whatever they can afford to enable them to provide the support that is desperately needed by a growing number of people.
“Our services are under enormous pressure as more and more people need our support,” said John Holmstrom, Turning Tides’ chief executive.
“Many of the temporary arrangements found for people as part of ‘Everyone In’ are not suitable or not available longer term, so some of these arrangements are now starting to break down.
“Moreover, we are dealing with increasing requests at our community hubs as more and more people are becoming homeless for the first time, from all walks of life.
“Homelessness can – and is – happening to anyone. While the end of the pandemic is in sight for some, for many others the nightmare is just beginning. There is a homeless crisis unfolding in our community.”
Turning Tides works across the county to support men and women who have become homeless or who are at risk of losing their home.
It said in recent months an upsurge across the north and south of the county has been reported in the number of people presenting as homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless.
In Worthing, for example, the number of people reporting as homeless doubled last year, the charity said. Meanwhile, Horsham has received a 216 per cent increase in people sleeping rough in the district during the pandemic.
Claire Halford-Dale, manager at St Clare’s Community Hub in Worthing, said: “We are starting to witness the full – and frightening – cost of Covid.
“Every day, we see real distress from local people losing their livelihoods and their homes. They are people just like you and I and they are rapidly losing their place in life as Covid takes away health, jobs, relationships, and eventually homes.
“There has never been greater demand for our services or greater pressure on our frontline key workers. Every time I see another store close in town, I know the knock on effect that will have on local livelihoods and I worry what this increase in demand will have on our services.”
Turning Tides is the largest provider of homeless services for single people throughout West Sussex. The charity runs 21 properties in various locations across the county and has more than 300 volunteers and 140 paid staff.
To find out more about the charity’s appeal, visit its website or call 01903 680740.