Local charity Stonepillow will be using the Cathedral green this Christmas to raise awareness about homelessness. Nine display boards will tell the individual stories of nine different people who have experienced homelessness and received support from Stonepillow.
The nine people featured in the display have all given their consent for their stories to be told as a way of raising awareness of homelessness within our community. The photographs are displayed on the hoardings situated on the Cathedral's north green.
Since 2010 the number of people sleeping rough in England has increased by 169%. In the South East the statistics are at a 261% increase since 2010. These statistics do not take into account the 'hidden homeless', those who are in temporary accommodation, sleeping on friends or family's sofas or in their cars.
There are a number of reasons that can cause someone to become homeless, whether it is individual circumstances, external factors or both. The two most common reasons for people accessing Stonepillow's services are family or relationship breakdown and loss of private accommodation.
Stonepillow offers more than just shelter - they provide food, showers, clothing, laundry facilities as well as advice and information on housing options, benefits, mental health and substance misuse. Stonepillow helps people to rebuild their lives and get back into independent accommodation.
Chichester Cathedral is working in partnership with Stonepillow, a charity founded in 1989 by Reverend Hilary Parsons following a sermon concerning the death of a homeless man in Chichester. Stonepillow is the trading name of St Richard of Chichester Christian Care Association.