Homelessness Facts
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Homelessness Facts

Our Projects and Homelessness in WorthingHomelessness2016 (2)


In 2016 homelessness increased by 16% nationally. Since the beginning of this annual count and report rough sleeping figures have doubled nationally. In Worthing and Adur have seen a 26% decrease from 19 to 14 rough sleepers in the past year. Worthing Churches Homeless Projects are pleased to see there has been a decrease locally but are committed to reducing this figure and to continue working towards our mission to ending rough sleeping locally.
We recognise it is not enough to simply have no increase, we are working with the council and other agencies locally towards seeing a decrease. There are many reasons for the increase nationally with welfare cuts, a challenging housing market, lack of affordable housing and loss of private tenancies for people in receipt of housing benefit. We know that there are many reasons people become homeless and come to use our services and continue to work with our clients to both prevent and react to the homelessness situation in the communities in which we work.

  • In the last year WCHP have worked with more than 1100 in Worthing alone, people including telephone assistance and support provided through the Local Assistance Network. 
  • There were 245 new people using St Clare's this year which is about the same as 2014/15
  • The latest rough sleeper count for Worthing and Adur (Nov 16) returned a figure of 14 people counted. We know this does not represent all those who are homeless or insecurely housed in the town as we continue to see people who are sofa surfing, staying in squats or living out of cars or tents.
  • The Short Term Assessment Hostel have worked with 118 people in the last year and the Recovery Project have worked with 60 people.
  • This year saw the completion of the annexe onto the Short Term Assessment Hostel which enabled every resident to have an individual room and added one bedspace to the project overall. On any one night we have 59 people in our accommodation.
  • The most recent street count of rough sleepers showed 14 people sleeping rough in Worthing and Adur and 6 in Horsham. Just looking at rough sleeper counts do not give you the full picture of homelessness in Worthing. The rough sleepers are the tip of the homelessness iceberg, with many more hidden homeless, some sofa surfing, some staying in B&Bs, some in overcrowded accommodation. Some clients need our help for just a few days, others will remain supported for several years, every case is different, they are all individuals.


  • Over this time, WCHP worked with 1,447 individuals overall. This includes telephone assistance and LAN.
  • St Clare’s Day Centre saw 247 new people, 5% more than the previous year.
  • The latest rough sleeper count (Nov 14) returned a figure of 17
  • STAH and SSP have worked with 149 clients and the RP have worked with 65 clients over the year.
  • We were able to accommodate 58 people in our residential accommodation and a further 22 are long term residents in our independent housing, at any one time.
  • We started work on a 6 room extension at STAH, to enable us to work with the more entrenched rough sleepers by providing individual accommodation.


  • Worthing Churches Homeless Projects worked 671 individuals, a 7% increase from the previous 12 months.
  • The Community Link Team at St Clare’s Day Centre supported 545 individuals
  • The Short Term Assessment Hostel supported 99 individuals
  • Stepping Stones Project supported 38 individuals
  • Recovery Project supported 61 individuals
  • The Move On Project supported 11 individuals
  • The Independent Housing project supported individuals


Defining Homelessness

Statutorily Homeless - an unintentionally homeless household or individual,. The local authorities have a duty to provide advice and assistance to those homeless or threatened with homelessness.

Rough Sleeping - people sleeping or about to bed down in the open air (Such as on the street, in tents, doorways, parks, bus shelters or encampments) or buildings or other places not designed for habitation (such as stairwells, barns, sheds, car parks, cars, derelict boats or stations)

Insecurely housed - those staying with friends and family on sofas and floors, staying in squats, B&Bs or in overcrowded accommodation

Intentionally homeless - an individual that became homeless because they left accommodation that they could have stayed in

Priority need category - included those with dependent children, pregnant women, vulnerable people (those with mental illness or physical disability), those aged under 18, those aged 18 - 20 who were previously in care, vulnerable individuals as a result of time in care, in custody, or in HM Forces and those fleeing home due to violence or the threat of violence. These individuals will have priority on accommodation provided my local authorities.


2016 National Statistics

Quantifying homelessness is not a straightforward thing to do as there are people who become homeless but find a temporary solution by staying with friends, family members, living in squats or insecure accommodation. Research by the national charity Crisis indicates that about 62 per cent of single homeless people are hidden and may not show up in official figures.

According to the Department for Communities and Local Government (published in January 2017) 4,134 people in England are estimated to be sleeping out on any one night in England. This is a 16% increase from the year before. However, this number is a snapshot compiled of street counts and estimated by local governments and the actual figure is estimated to be much higher. Last year 275,000 people approached local authorities for homelessness assistance.

The reasons for why people become homeless are varied and complex. However, reasons may including relationship breakdown, the end of a tenancy, leaving care, and physical or mental health problems. Some of the structural factors that affect homeless are: an insignificant supply of housing and cuts to the welfare and housing systems (housing benefits have been cut by £7bn)


  • The areas with the highest numbers of rough sleepers are Westminster (260), Brighton and hove (144) and Corwall (99)
  • 15% of rough sleepers are female and 20% of these women are homeless as a result of escaping violence from someone they know. Homelessness can also be particularly dangerous for women, 28% form an unwanted sexual partnership and 20% use sex work as a way to get a roof over their heads
  • 10% were under 25 years old and 11% over 55 years
  • 20% of homeless women homeless as a result of escaping violence


  • If you are homeless you are 17 times more likely to be a victim of violence, much of it perpetrated by members of the general public
  • 41% of rough sleepers were reported to have alcohol support needs, 31% drug support need and 45 - 80% mental health support needs
  • 35% report eating less than 2 meals a day
  • A homeless person is 6x more likely to go to A&E than the general public. The most common reason for using A&E is as a result of a violent incident or assault
  • The average age of death for a homeless person is 47


  • 30% of households accepted by local authorities as homeless sighted the ending of a Assured Short Tenancy as their reason for homelessness
  • The number of homeless people who were previously in private rented accommodation have seen a 250% increase over the past five years as rents have been rising faster then tenants are able to pay
  • Only 45% of landlords were willing to let to tenants in receipt of housing benefits and 18% to homeless households
  • The number of social houses in England has fallen by 26% since 1975
  • A shortage of social housing has resulted in the private rented sector becoming essential accommodation for those avoiding or escaping homelessness. However, financial barriers and the instability of tenancies are too great for many