West Sussex homeless charity tackles ‘hidden rural homelessness’ by transforming double-decker bus into life-saving mobile hub

Turning Tides homeless charity marked 30 years of transforming lives by launching an innovative new double-decker bus that serves as a refuge for the hidden homeless in West Sussex.

A specially converted double-decker bus will provide life-saving support to homeless people in rural areas across the county.

This vital bus is fitted with a kitchenette, shower, toilet, washing machine, IT resources, private meeting space, and comfortable seating area.

The unique service allows the charity to connect directly with the hidden homeless, helping people sleeping rough in remote areas to begin their pathway out of homelessness.

Turning Tides homeless charity's newest service to help tackle rural homelessness

This unique solution to rural homelessness will overcome the challenge of distance, travelling between East Grinstead, Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill, Hassocks, Horsham, Storrington, Pulborough, and Steyning.

The mobile hub is part of the charity’s wider frontline services, complementing their static community hubs which provide essential practical and emotional support to hundreds of people experiencing homelessness across West Sussex each year.

In May, Turning Tides launched an appeal asking for the public to support these vital frontline services which are at risk due to a significant funding shortfall. More about this can be found on www.turning-tides.org.uk

Turning Tides’ chief executive John Holmstrom said: “In West Sussex, homelessness brings unique challenges. The beauty of this rural area obscures hidden homelessness; rough sleeping is dangerous and many people search for safety in the remote countryside. With no resources, human contact, or hope, these people can’t make it to a static hub, and they desperately need our help.”

The facilities on the double-decker bus

Turning Tides client and volunteer Andy said: “I had nowhere else to go. I know people who have become homeless and lost hope, and I know how that feels. Homelessness can take your dignity and humanity away. It is a very dark lonely place.

“Turning Tides offers shelter, warmth and fellowship.

“The charity has been so helpful and understanding and through the charity I feel I have grown. I have such a better life now than I had before. This bus and the charity are lifesaving.”

Started in 1991 by a group of Christians in Worthing, Turning Tides is now the biggest provider of services for single homeless people in West Sussex.

To donate or find out more about the charity please visit their website: www.turning-tides.org.uk