Outside London, rough sleeping in the South East has grown faster than the rest of the country since 2010.
There is also significant hidden homelessness in Sussex, which often does not show up in official figures. This includes people who become homeless but find a temporary solution by staying with family members or friends, living in squats or other insecure accommodation.
It is difficult to ascertain specific figures across the Diocese for hidden homelessness, but it is estimated that about 62% of single homeless people are hidden and may not show up in official figures.
Brighton and Hove has experienced the biggest increase in the number of rough sleepers anywhere in the country in the past year and has the highest levels of homelessness in the South East.
Across the Diocese of Chichester there are many people working to help those who do not have access to shelter or somewhere to call home. There are night shelters now operating in many towns, frequently supported by the churches and in Chichester the local churches are collaborating on the HEART project which provides food and company for those who are street homeless.
A helpful starting point to find out about homelessness and the resources available is the national charity, Homeless Link.
If you are concerned about someone who is sleeping rough in your area, Street Link helps connect rough sleepers with local services.
Local Councils will also have information about the services available in your area.
If you would like more information about the work that churches are doing to help those who are vulnerably housed in your local area and how you might help, please contact Diane Watts.
If you are a landlord who may be willing to rent to someone or a family who are homeless please contact Diane Watts and we will be able to put you in contact with someone in your area.