Hampshire County Council is proposing a reduction of £360,000 towards Homelessness Support Services as part of the County Council’s Savings Programme to 2023. The council estimates that £73,272 of these savings could be made in Winchester.

These cuts could mean that we have to scale back our vital services. It is likely that we would have to reduce our life-changing support which gives people experiencing homelessness in Hampshire the chance to rebuild their lives and escape homelessness for good. We need your help to try and stop the cuts going ahead.

The proposed cuts come at an already challenging time when the national charity, Crisis,  has forecast that 8,000 more people will be sleeping rough by 2024 due to the increased cost of living, benefit freezes and the end of Covid eviction bans.

“We are working really hard to plan for the predicted rise in homelessness to ensure we can meet the demand and therefore every penny of our funding matters” explains Michèle, Chief Executive of The Winchester Beacon. “Working at the frontline of homelessness we see how many lives our services have saved and how crucial we are to people being able to escape homelessness, a reduction in funding could put so many people at risk. We understand that cuts need to be made but we are really worried about what these potential cuts could mean for our service and the people we support.”

This week, current and former residents met with commissioners to share their views on the potential impact of the cuts. The response was incredibly moving as they each shared how our support has helped them. One resident said, “I am getting my life together. I am getting my head together. If it wasn’t for The Winchester Beacon, I wouldn’t be here.” Almost a third of the people in the room revealed that without our help they believe that they would be dead by now.

The good news is that, with your help, we have the chance to prevent the cuts and save lives. The plans are currently out for consultation with people invited to comment until the 21st March.

We are asking supporters to try and make the time to complete the consultation or give your views via email. We have been told that the decision could be changed if enough support is shown for our services, every response really does count.

If you have any queries or would like to know more information please email admin@winchesterbeacon.org.uk.

How can you help?

Please make time to complete the Hampshire County Council Consultation. You can take part online or fill out a paper copy.  The consultation will close on 21st March. 

We have put together facts and stats about our service which might help inform your response. View our Useful Information Sheet here.

Or you can email your views to as.consultation@hants.gov.uk
We have put together a draft email which you can use as a starting point and incorporate your views. View draft email.

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