Help may continue for area’s homeless

WAYS to keep a vital service for the homeless open in Bognor Regis are being explored.

Members of Arun District Council’s housing and customer services working group unanimously agreed to support officers in looking at viable ways to keep services run at Glenlogie going.

Charity Stonepillow currently operates out of the Clarence Road building as part of a pilot scheme providing much-needed services for those living on the streets. Brian Pople, Arun’s head of housing, said at the meeting: “We are very pleased with the work Stonepillow has been doing at Glenlogie.

“If you were in agreement, officers could go away and explore the issues in making it more permanent.

“A report to see if a viable funding solution to keep it going could be done and then that report could be taken to cabinet for a final decision.”

Mr Pople also asked members to agree a two-month extension to the existing pilot.

“We want to see if the temporary accommodation units the council is putting in above the basement will work side-by-side with what Stonepillow are doing. The units won’t be finished until mid-April so for this to happen we would need to extend the pilot scheme,” said Mr Pople.

This was also agreed by the working group.

Stuart Gibbons, the head of client services at Stonepillow, told the meeting: “We are two months into the pilot, having opened in November, and in some ways it has been a long two months but in other ways time has flown.

“We are very pleased with what has been achieved so far. We have managed to get five homeless people, that is entrenched homeless people who came to us with no trust whatsoever, into accommodation, which in just two months is no mean feat.”

Mr Gibbons said the hostel services which offer a bed for 28 nights to 11 people, being operated as part of the project, currently has a waiting list of about five.

The day centre is also increasing in popularity and has seen 45 people access its services in just eight weeks. In one week, 31 different people attended.

Mr Gibbons also thanked the council for their support as well as Bognor churches and community.

“The buzz is going around about what we are doing,” he said.

Stonepillow also operates the council’s cold-weather provision which opens when the temperature is forecast to fall below zero on three consecutive nights.

A final decision on if the services at Glenlogie can be made permanent will be made by Arun’s cabinet members.