£1.5m announced for rough sleepers

I have welcomed more than £1.5m of funding to help rough sleepers in East Sussex.

The cash has been given to councils across the area including Eastbourne, Hastings, Lewes, Rother and Wealden to fund more safe beds and extra support staff.

It is part of the Rough Sleeping Initiative – a 112m national fund recently announced by the government. Ministers have also committed to end rough sleeping by the end of this Parliament.

This money for councils like Eastbourne is very welcome and will make a difference to this distressing issue.

The reasons why people become rough sleepers are complex and often include family breakdown, divorce, mental health issues and substance abuse. But as a society, and as a government, we must do all we can to reach these people and encourage them to seek help and support. This money will do that, it will help the Government’s pledge to eliminate rough sleeping over the next few years and I look forward to seeing its positive influences.

As you may know, I’m a Winter Nightshelter volunteer, and I’m also calling for the authorities to establish an all-year round shelter to meet demand. Presently, the existing church-run shelter covers the winter months and will end in February.