A Worthing sheltered accommodation centre is set to lose four ground floor bedrooms in favour of communal areas.
The Turning Tides facility in Lyndhurst Road opened in April 2018 and currently provides temporary accommodation for up to 38 people.
A spokesman for Turning Tides said the communal rooms would provide spaces for socialising, as well as addressing the concerns of some local residents who felt the staff to client ratio was too low.
“After a year of running this project, feedback from many of the residents was that they would like some communal space within the building as currently residents are restricted to their own rooms,” said the spokesman.
“This space would provide somewhere for meaningful activity and interaction where residents, staff and volunteers could socialise together. We will run courses for the residents and have already trialled cook and eat courses which clients enjoyed engaging with.
“But this will extend to group work and other forms of meaningful activity which will help the clients’ recovery journey.”
The conversion is not set to involve any building work, as the large areas can be adapted easily, compared to smaller rooms on other floors.
A lack of ground floor bedrooms is bound to impact disabled residents, but the Turning Tides spokesman said the charity operates two other properties in Worthing with disabled access.
A ground floor flat is rented at the property in Byron Road and the 26-bedroom project in Selden Road has wheelchair access with a lift.
In March, Adur and Worthing councils reported the number of people sleeping rough in the town had dropped from 36 to 24 after a multi-agency effort.
The work of Turning Tides, which operates shelters across Sussex, was credited as being one of the driving factors behind the reduction.
The reduction in numbers came despite the December announcement that West Sussex County Council was slashing its £6.3million housing support budget by £4million in the face of government cuts.
The cuts followed figures released by homeless charity Shelter in November showing at least 320,000 people were classed as homeless in the UK – an increase of 13,000 from the previous year’s figures.
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