Combating Homelessness, Creating Opportunities, Promoting Change

Advice Hub Celebrates 1000 Days of Advice

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17Dec

The Advice and Community Hub has celebrated their doors being open for 1000 days this week.

The St Leonard’s based service marked the occasion by holding an event that was attended by the Leader of Hastings Borough Council, Jeremy Birch, Chief Inspector Paul Phelps and a mix of local councillors from Hastings & Rother, and other organisations as well as staff and board members from each of the organisations.

The Advice and Community Hub is home to Citizens Advice Bureau 1066 (CAB 1066), Hastings Advice Representative Centre (HARC), BHT Hastings Advice, and BHT Finding Futures.

The organisations work together to provide a one stop shop for people with advice needs.

Since the Hub opened in March 2011 it has welcomed 15,000 visitors from Hastings and Rother area who are looking for advice on a range of issues such as housing, welfare and debt.

In the 1000 days of the Hub homelessness has been prevented or housing conditions improved for 974 people, clients have been helped with over £16,500,000 of debt, 1,086 clients have been represented at benefit appeals with a 95% success rate and over 500 people have gained at least one personal learning goal such as learning to read or write.

The Advice and Community Hub is open Monday to Friday from 9am4.30pm. Drop in to get some advice or call 01424 721458.

Our housing advice and court duty services have prevented homelessness in almost 1,000 cases in the 1,000 days we have been at the Hub.

The annual cost to the state of each homeless person is £25,000 which means our efforts have saved in excess of £25,000,000.

We have calculated that over the 1,000 days that we have been open at the Hub, all three organisations have a joint value of over £50,000,000 through savings to the state, increased incomes for clients, the management of debt and attracting funding into the local economy.

Jo Wilson, BHT Hastings Advice Manager

The Hub is the first combined advice hub in the country bringing together housing and benefits advice and general advice all together in the same building, a real benefit for local people. The council is really pleased to support this innovative approach and to provide significant grant assistance. We congratulate the Hub on its first 1,000 days and look forward to many more.

Cllr Jeremy Birch, Leader of Hastings Borough Council

It was great to join the 1000th day celebrations of the Hub.

It is clear to see that their services are needed more than ever before.  The recent chaos over the way benefits are paid, sanctions and housing problems all make the advice from HARC, CAB and BHT Sussex an increasingly vital lifeline to help some of the most vulnerable parts of our community.

Sarah Owen, Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Hastings & Rye

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