Helping and supporting the homeless of Chichester every single night for the last 3 years.
Four Streets are not affiliated to any political party and we are non-discriminatory. We exist to provide any available ‘on the spot’ and ‘common sense’ support to any person we find sleeping on the streets of Chichester or those known to be vulnerably housed as above. We recognise that the route to living on the streets and having no home can be multi-faceted. We do not make judgements regarding each person’s individual story.
Our collective and only purpose is to provide support i.e. food, drink, sleeping bags, clothing, referral to agencies to people sleeping out on the streets of Chichester, and those known to us to be vulnerably housed; the situation frequently referred to as ‘sofa surfing.’
We are a group of volunteers, made up of local residents of Chichester who work together to provide nightly support to homeless people on the main four streets of Chichester. We provide an every night service at circa 1900-2030hrs every night, (7 days a week including Bank Holidays). Volunteers working in pairs walk the four main streets of Chichester City Centre (North, South, East, and West Streets, Northgate, Southgate etcetera and the top of Crane Street).
We offer food*, drinks* appropriate to the season, blankets, coats and sleeping bags and any other necessity we can, (e.g. toiletries, boots and underwear, on request and as available ) to people sleeping out on the streets. We signpost people sleeping out to local services providing support. (e.g. Chichester Hub run by Stone Pillow, the breakfast and meal clubs on various days, run by St Pancras Church, and Chichester District Council.)
If we have significant concern regarding the welfare of a person sleeping out we will, (usually with the permission of the affected person) seek emergency help for that person, e.g. Chichester Care Line (01243 778688) and if needed the Police or Ambulance services, (via 101 or 999 as required.)
The Four Streets Project was founded in January 2017 by Donna Ockenden and her daughters Caiti and Phoebe. They had moved to the centre of Chichester in January 2016 and felt compelled to help the homeless people sleeping in shop doorways in the main ‘four streets’ of Chichester City Centre.
Living so close to Chichester city centre and within the City Walls they felt the people sleeping out were their neighbours. Throughout 2016 Donna, Caiti and Phoebe provided food and bedding informally from their own household several nights a week. In December 2016 it was clear to Donna that the help was much needed and more than she could manage as a full time working mum of two daughters. Donna sent lots of emails and texts to friends and neighbours asking for assistance, with a very positive response and in early January 2017 the Four Streets Project was born.
There are around 35 volunteers Our volunteers are people from a number of faiths and no faith. We will help those we encounter, where we can, regardless of background, nationality, faith, colour, political belief, gender and sexual orientation. We will listen to the people we meet and provide ‘common sense’ advice. Our volunteers come from a range of professional backgrounds including healthcare, social care, various churches and local businesses. Yes, we are keen to work with and support other local organisations who are working with vulnerable people. We have made positive links with St Pancras Church, The Chichester Food Bank and a number of City and District Councillors and Stone Pillow. A number of local businesses including Pret a Manger, Greggs, LA Fish, Dominos, Purchases Restaurant, ASK, Boston Tea Party, Marks & Spencers and Fenwicks Café in Priory Park support our work. The Chichester Observer and the Chichester Post have also supported the Community Coat Rack, one of the initiatives we set up in February 2017 and have helped publicise our work since we formed.