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Stonepillow has been awarded a grant from the National Lottery Community Fund to establish and pilot the first Housing First Project across Chichester and Arun districts.

The project will provide support to the most vulnerable and multi-disadvantaged rough sleepers, enabling them to set up a new home for life and engage with the wider range of services they require, integrating into the community and ultimately helping them to build a new, sustainable independent life.

Housing First is an evidence-based approach which has seen homelessness ended for 70-90 per cent of people in Canada, Denmark, Finland and France.

Stonepillow is currently working with over 60 rough sleepers throughout the county who are now in emergency accommodation provided by Chichester and Arun district councils.

Sarah Dakin, Fundraising and Communications manager for the charity, said: “Time is of the essence due to the imminent reopening of hotels, and we have already started collaborative work with social housing providers on an exit pathway to identify suitable accommodation that prevents these homeless and vulnerable people being back on the streets.

“We are keen to extend this project long term, and with support from our partner local authorities, other charitable trusts and foundations we hope to provide the Housing First project for the foreseeable future as it provides a long term solution to revolving door entrenched rough sleeping.

“Stonepillow are extremely excited to take the Housing First project forward and be able to proactively make this huge difference to the lives of so many rough sleepers and vulnerable homeless people across Chichester and Arun in collaboration with our partners across housing, third sector agencies, NHS, Public Health England, county council and criminal justice system.”

Original article from Chichester Observer published 11th June 2020