High levels of social deprivation and mental health problems are deeply embedded into the fabric of Hastings & St Leonards and some wards of Rother. In recent years homelessness has continually increased until in 2018 Hastings Borough had the 4th highest rate of rough sleeping in the country and 2019 saw the highest levels of rough sleeping on record in the town.
Austerity measures, the introduction of Universal Credit and the need for guarantors have made it increasingly difficult for many people to access private rented accommodation. This and the scarcity of supported housing locally have contributed to the prolonged periods of rough sleeping experienced by many homeless people, with the personal difficulties that led to their homelessness becoming increasingly complex and entrenched as a result.
The desperate need for stable housing – and particularly supported accommodation – for homeless people drove a number of local individuals to explore the feasibility of establishing a faith-based supported accommodation project, and in 2016 Transom Trust was born, under the umbrella of national social enterprise, Green Pastures.
Our vision is to continue to expand our properties across Hastings, St Leonards and Bexhill, while building on our existing relationships with other local statutory and voluntary agencies, in order to make a significant long-term impact on the problem of local homelessness.
The name: a transom is “a horizontal crossbar in a window, over a door, or between a door and a window…” or “the horizontal bar of a cross or gallows” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). The name Transom was chosen because of the word’s associations with housing, as well as with the cross – the enduring symbol of Christian faith – and in particular, its connotations of overarching support, an idea that summarises the aim of Transom Trust.