Bognor Regis shelter reopens

An emergency shelter for rough sleepers around Bognor Regis has re-opened for the winter.

The occasional night-time accommodation in Glenlogie is being run by the Stonepillow charity.

It will be used until next March 2012 when the temperature dips below freezing on three nights running.

Former rough sleepers Lola McGillcuddy and Danielle Evans were among those at an open day hosted by Stonepillow earlier this month.

They said the charity had saved their lives; both had been living on the streets elsewhere last winter.

Lola, 28, said: “I was living in a tent this time last year.

“It’s the cold that gets to you. There’s no escape from it.

“You abuse alcohol and drugs to numb it. You can’t really sleep properly when you are sleeping rough. You are always worried about your safety.”

Danielle, 30, said: “What Stonepillow are doing with somewhere like this is incredible.

“This place will keep you safe and warm.”

The shelter, in Clarence Road, is being run by Stonepillow to enable Arun District Council to fulfil its legal duty to help rough sleepers in extremely cold weather.

Workers will scan Met Office forecasts and decide 24 hours in advance to open the shelter.

Stuart Gibbons, Stonepillow’s head of client services, said: “The doors will open at 7pm and will close at 8am the next day.

“We aim to be more proactive and there could be more who turn up this year. At St Joseph’s near Chichester the other night, we turned away ten people because we were full with 14 inside.

“Glenlogie will have beds for 17 clients but, if an 18th turned up, we would give them a blanket and let them sleep on the floor. It’s got to be better than being outside in the freezing cold.”