“Callous and despicable Tory Cuts to Housing Related Support will result in more homeless people sleeping rough and the loss of support for vulnerable people in sheltered housing” is Labour’s response across the County.
Conservative run West Sussex County Council has announced that from next year they plan to cut their entire Housing Related Support budget of £6 million, a decision which is likely to mean the closure of every homeless shelter in West Sussex and the loss of support for many vulnerable and elderly residents in their homes.
Housing Related Support was saving the public sector millions by outsourcing essential support to the voluntary sector and other providers. The proposed cut will force the downgrading of services or complete closures at StonePillow, Stonham Foyers, YMCA DownsLink and the Safer in Sussex women’s refuges.
Floating housing support and supported living schemes such as the Lifeline scheme which provides the alarm button to vulnerable elderly people to contact emergency services after a fall; and the Local Assistance Network provided through Citizens’ Advice Bureaux are also threatened.
The horrifying impact on significant numbers of vulnerable people, and the consequential additional demands on the police, healthcare and social services renders the ‘money-saving’ measure particularly short-sighted.
There are already various online petitions which you can sign (listed below). Should any achieve 3,000 signatures by the end of September, they will have to be discussed at County Council before a final decision is made.
Labour is calling for members to support a demonstration outside County Hall on Friday 19th October from 9:00am https://www.facebook.com/events/1897482823669186/ (when a full council meeting will be held).
If you are concerned about this issue, please write to your local newspaper and share this information and the petitions below on social media.