'Dark side' of West Sussex's county town appears as homeless person's belongings torched

Belongings reduced to a pile of ash
Belongings reduced to a pile of ash

All the belongings of two homeless people have been destroyed in an arson attack at the weekend.

Books, magazines, sleeping bags, spare clothes a numerous other possessions belonging to two members of the homeless community in Chichester were destroyed in the blaze.

The Northgate underpass is coated in black soot and the belongings were left in a pile of ashes.

The underpass walls are cracked and have fallen off in parts only weeks after the underpass was repaired after the last time a homeless persons belongings were lit almost exactly a year ago: Homeless person's bed and belongings destroyed by fire believed to have been started deliberately
Donna Ockenden, who founded the Four Streets Project, which offers support to rough sleepers and the vulnerably housed in Chichester said: "They came back after sleeping at a mates house and everything has gone. There is not a single item remaining."

"It has been a horrible weekend but 100 per cent of people on Facebook have been lovely."

Donna also raised concerns about another attack on homeless people at the weekend when footage emerged on social media of youths intimidating rough sleepers.

Soot lining the the underpass after the fire

Soot lining the the underpass after the fire

Read more here: Police investigating reports of youths 'intimidating the street community' in Chichester
She described the weekends events as showing 'the dark side of Chichester' but added: "We have been really heartened by the kind words and promise of donations."

The emphasis is now on donations of new items including boxer shorts in a large size, socks, hats, gloves, foil-lined ground mats and winter-weight sleeping bags. Donations can be dropped off at her office First Floor, 31 North Street, Chichester.

The Four Streets Project has been running for four years and entirely volunteer ran charity and hands out food and advice 365 days a year.

More damage done to the underpass due to the fire

More damage done to the underpass due to the fire