Horsham council expresses concern at ARK charity’s future

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

Horsham District Council has ‘investigated at length’ options to find a new home for a charity, which helps some of the most vulnerable people in Horsham.

The ARK Horsham will cease to operate from its current base in the town’s United Reformed Church on September 4 and the County Times is running a campaign to help them somewhere else to operate from.

Home for the ARK

Home for the ARK

The charity holds a drop-in service three days a week helping people with life-controlling problems including addictions, unemployment, disability and homelessness.

This week, the district council, which is responsible for housing people in priority need and also works with police and other agencies to tackle problems such as street drinking and anti-social behaviour.

A spokesman said: “Since learning that the ARK Horsham has to leave its home in Springfield Road in September, the council has investigated at length whether it owns or can acquire any property that would be suitable for the ARK Horsham to carry on its valuable work.

“Unfortunately, nothing is currently available that would allow ARK to operate effectively and which would meet its specified objectives.

“The council has also been working with ARK and other charities to try and find a way forward, and discussions are ongoing.”

During the course of the County Times campaign ARK ‘family’ members, as they are affectionately known, have warned this could lead to individuals now on the road to recovery turning back to drugs or alcohol.

Sussex Police have concerns its demise could lead to increase crime in the town as people struggle without ARK’s ongoing support.

For more information about the charity go to thearkhorsham.org.uk

Anyone who can help ARK with a new town centre base can call the charity’s founding director Lisa Burrell on 07825 284054.

Related links: Homeless Neil Bottomley says why he only feels at home at ARK

Recovered alcoholic and ARK volunteer tells how ARK saved her life

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