Preventing homelessness through the pandemic

Edition: Winter 2021

The plight of homelessness is exceptionally difficult during normal times, but in the midst of a pandemic it has become even more challenging.

A woman looks sadly at a paper bill

Quite simply, our Homeless team has never worked in such a demanding environment.

The pressure facing families and individuals is greater than ever, but you need to know that we are here to help.

Our team has already witnessed a sharp increase in the number of homelessness alerts as a result of relationships breaking down  under lockdown, friendly sofa surfing arrangements coming to an abrupt end and domestic abuse, with little  or no break from abusers, intensifying during the crisis.

There have been some 800 homeless enquiries in the first six months of 2020, and a 216% increase in rough sleepers during the pandemic. Many people are being forced to sleep rough for the first time.

This has been one of the toughest times I have known after 16 years of working in housing services, due to sheer volume of households being affected

Head of Housing and Community Services

The best advice we can give is to speak to us as soon as possible. There are a number of options available to you to prevent you and/or your family from becoming homeless.

How our service operates

Our dedicated team of Homeless Officers have many years of experience and are ready to talk you through realistic options and to work with you to prevent you becoming homeless. Our service has moved away from face to face appointments and advice is now available over the phone, online and via email at housing@horsham.gov.uk.

Your legal rights

We are taking an increased number of calls from both existing customers concerned about the risk of eviction, and residents concerned about  the impact of rapidly worsening relationships with friends and family. We are able to reassure households of their legal rights regarding eviction during these uncertain and changing times.

Use Streetlink to tell us about a rough sleeper

If you are concerned about someone sleeping rough, you can highlight them using the StreetLink website. The details provided are sent to the Council’s Homeless Outreach team to help us to locate the individual and connect them to support.

Get in touch

If you are homeless or facing homelessness please contact us as soon as possible by emailing housing@horsham.gov.uk, by calling the Homeless team on  01403 215204 or by visiting our website.

For Homeless Outreach Support, contact us on 07736 268902.

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