Homeless service facing 50 per cent funding cut

Employees of Home Works campaign against the proposed 50 per cent cut to the service SUS-180314-141129001
Employees of Home Works campaign against the proposed 50 per cent cut to the service SUS-180314-141129001

A crisis service for homeless people in East Sussex is fighting to prevent its funding being slashed by half.

East Sussex County Council confirmed the proposed 50 per cent funding cut for Home Works at its Full Cabinet meeting on February 6.

Southdown, the not-for-profit provider of Home Works, is now campaigning for a reduction in the amount of funding due to be cut, before a final decision is made by Cabinet in June.

Chief executive at Southdown, Neil Blanchard, said: “If this reduction goes ahead, it would have devastating consequences for thousands of local vulnerable people facing homelessness.

“It would increase the number of people forced to sleep rough on the streets and result in a loss of access to support for people with multiple and complex issues such as mental health challenges, living in poverty and fleeing domestic abuse.

“It would also transfer considerable additional pressures onto East Sussex housing, health and social care services. Home Works plays a crucial role in cases where other services cannot deal with the whole range of complex and inter-related problems people are facing.

“As such, continuation of Home Works’ funding should be prioritised.”

Southdown is urging anyone living in East Sussex to support the campaign by taking part in a consultation before Wednesday, April 25.

An East Sussex County Council spokesman said: “We share the concern of all those who care about how we provide vital services to the people who need them most.

“However, cuts in the funding we get from central Government mean we have to save almost £10 million from the adult social care budget for 2018-19 – on top of significant savings we’ve already made in recent years.

“As a result, we have to make difficult decisions, to ensure we can make our increasingly limited resources go as far as possible, to help as many people as possible.

“A decision on how we find these savings, including the proposals for Home Works, will only be made once the current consultation has concluded.

“We would strongly encourage anyone with an interest in any of the adult social care savings proposals to take part in the consultation to ensure their views can be taken into account before a final decision is made.”

The consultation can be found at https://consultation.eastsussex.gov.uk/adult-social-care/savings/.