Homelessness charities Sussex Oakleaf and Turning Tides have launched a new partnership with Mid Sussex District Council to combat homelessness in Mid Sussex. The new scheme is celebrating its first success as a local man moves into warm and safe accommodation just in time for Christmas, after nearly two years of homelessness when his only shelter was a tent.
Philippa Thompson, Chief Executive of Sussex Oakleaf said:
“Thousands of people sleep rough on the streets every night in the UK, and this is a growing, visible issue on the streets of Mid Sussex too. Street homelessness is the tip of the iceberg, though. There are many more ‘hidden homeless’, who will be sofa surfing or in unsuitable temporary accommodation this Christmas and Sussex Oakleaf has a long history of supporting people at risk.
As the weather turns colder, the reality is that people will lose their lives while trying to survive on the streets.”
Sussex Oakleaf and Turning Tides are working with Mid Sussex District Council to implement projects which will provide accommodation to rough sleepers over the winter months and to provide the specialist, one to one support that they need to overcome mental or physical health problems or addictions.
With accommodation being provided by Sussex Oakleaf, Turning Tides will offer individuals support to stay off the streets and move on to more secure long-term housing.
Service Manager for Sussex Oakleaf, Jo Scott said:
“We are so delighted that we’ll be providing warm, safe and secure housing for long term homeless people this Christmas.
It is hard to imagine what it must be like to spend nearly two years living out of a tent surrounded by people with homes to go to but that is the reality for our first resident under this scheme. He literally cried for joy when he saw the room he would be staying in and I’m so pleased that we have been able to offer this support in time for Christmas.”
Head of Development for Turning Tides, April Baker said:
“We are pleased to be working in partnership with Mid Sussex District Council for the second year to support rough sleepers in the local community during the coldest months. Due to the success of the partnership and further funding in 2019 we welcome the further development through partnering with Sussex Oakleaf. This has already led to one individual being offered housing and intensive wrap around support between both organisations”
If you need advice on housing and support available, then you can call the Mid Sussex Housing Needs Team on 01444 477574 or Turning Tides on 01903 680740.
If you are struggling over the Christmas period, then you can also contact Samaritans on 116 123. This number is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Sussex Oakleaf is this year celebrating its 25th anniversary and supports hundreds of people with their mental health each year. If you would like to help support better mental health and end homelessness this Christmas then please make a donation at the link below.