CAMPAIGN: Council to work to ‘avoid gap’ in ARK Horsham services

County Times campaign: ARK Horsham homelessness charity needs a new home. Pic Steve Robards
County Times campaign: ARK Horsham homelessness charity needs a new home. Pic Steve Robards

West Sussex County Council officers will help make sure support for vulnerable people in Horsham is not lost if the ARK ceases to exist next month.

The ARK Horsham is a charity which helps people change their lives around from addiction, unemployment, homelessness and other life-controlling issues.

Home for the ARK

Home for the ARK

It has run a drop-in service from the Horsham United Reformed Church in Springfield Road for five years, but on September 4 will lose its home there.

The County Times is supporting them in a campaign to find a new bases to operate from.

This week, the county council has said it was working to help avoid a gap in the charity current service, should a new home not be found by the deadline.

A spokesman said: “We recognise the valuable and important work that this charity does within the local community and we have arranged for our local Voluntary Sector Relationship Officer to contact the organisation to see what support might be available within local networks and if there is any other support we can provide.”

She added: “The Ark is a unique and independent charity and several local agencies refer people to them for support.

“However, we do not directly commission any services from them. It may be the case that services work in partnership or recommend the charity on a more informal basis.

“Officers are in contact with The Ark and will be linking with other key stakeholders including the District Council, Police, Mental Health Services and other voluntary sector organisations to work together to support people appropriately if a new home is not secured in time to avoid a gap in The Ark’s current drop in service.”

WHAT ARK NEEDS

The charity is looking for a place it can hire up to seven days a week where it can run its drop-in service. Finances are limited for the rent it can afford.

Any offer of a property they could use temporarily or on a permanent basis, will be gratefully considered.

A town centre location would be preferable, but otherwise located somewhere which is accessible by public transport. It must also be accessible for disabled people.

The charity needs access to a kitchen to make hot lunches and storage for its foodbank and activity materials.

FINANCIAL SUPPORT

ARK is appealing to businesses and individuals to think about supporting them regularly through a financial donation so they can approach a bank for a mortgage or secure a lease.

Donations would not only go towards paying bills, but also on other expenses such as taking the group on outings, rehabilitation courses for people struggling with addictions and travel expenses to job interviews and medical appointments.

Anyone who can help financially or can provide a new home can call the ARK’s founding director Lisa Burrell on 07825 284054, email lisa@thearkhorsham.org.uk or go to thearkhorsham.org.uk

Related stories: Homeless man’s appeal to save Horsham ARK charity

http://www.wscountytimes.co.uk/news/local/campaign-mum-tells-of-ark-horsham-s-vital-work-1-6897970| CAMPAIGN: Mum tells of ARK Horsham’s vital work|http://www.wscountytimes.co.uk/news/local/campaign-mum-tells-of-ark-horsham-s-vital-work-1-6897970}

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