Arun District Council has sought to reassure concerned residents and councillors that it is continuing to ‘closely monitor’ demand for housing services.
The news follows numerous calls for the emergency provisions for the homeless at the Bognor hostel to be put into use full time, not just when the consecutive severe weather levels are met.
A spokesman said these increased services at Glenlogie help the council ‘respond to the extra needs of homeless people during the winter months’ but added that it is working with partners ‘across all client groups’ in order to determine ‘how best to meet this need through more permanent housing solutions’.
The Severe Weather Emergency Provision (SWEP), provided by homeless charity Stonepillow on the council’s behalf, was put into force due to temperatures last week and, for the first time, is this year being delivered in partnership with Lady of Sorrows Bognor Regis Church, which has donated its church hall to allow more space.
“It will continue to operate during extreme winter weather,” Arun said.
“Stonepillow will provide the support services for additional homeless clients at The Bognor Hostel, Glenlogie, on behalf of Arun District Council.
“This also allows Stonepillow an opportunity to engage and offer support to people we may not have seen otherwise and work towards bringing them indoors on a more permanent basis.”
A spokesman for Stonepillow confirmed the services are ‘activated only when Arun District Council instructs us to do so’ and stressed that the additional Christmas opening hours in both Bognor Regis and Chichester were prompted, and made possible, by the charity’s volunteers ‘not any pressure from local councillors or members of the public’.
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