Worthing sees number of people presenting as homeless double

The number of single people presenting as homeless in Worthing has doubled since the lockdown was introduced, from 70 to 140, the council has confirmed.

Council workers are abiding by social distancing measures

However suitable accommodation in the local area has been found for all these vulnerable people, a spokesman said.

This includes a small number of rough sleepers who, with the support of local businesses and charities, are being housed in hotels.

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Thanks to local firm Cafe Montague, the 70 most in-need individuals are being provided with three hot home-cooked meals a day.

Meanwhile a specialist company is ensuring accommodation is regularly deep cleaned as a precaution against coronavirus.

In addition, the council’s outreach and housing teams are on shift ‘around the clock’ to support individuals on issues such as housing, finance, mental health and substance abuse.

Councillor Heather Mercer, Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Customer Services, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has placed enormous pressure on people across our area resulting in a large increase in the number presenting as homeless.

“But thanks to a huge effort we have made sure that everyone has been placed in suitable accommodation and continues to receive ongoing support in these difficult times.

“In addition to providing basic needs of shelter and food, our excellent teams are spending valuable time with those who are homeless to support them in finding the support services needed to get them back on track.

“I want to thank everyone for pulling together at this time, from Councils staff to charities, local cafes to hoteliers and landlords.

“Thanks to this incredible team effort we have been able to make sure that those in most need are not being left behind in these very difficult times.”

For anyone concerned about losing their accommodation, visit the councils’ website here.

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