John Holmstrom, Governor - Worthing Churches Homeless Projects, Chief Executive


 

I have been the Chief Executive of Worthing Churches Homelessness Projects since July 2013. This follows nearly 30 years working in the homelessness sector at Brighton Housing Trust. I originally trained in theology with plans to be ordained. After I started working with homelessness my vocation shifted to meeting the housing and support needs of men and women who are socially excluded. The main focus of my work has been single vulnerable homeless people.

A consistent theme in all these years is how the stress of homelessness and poor housing exacerbates mental wellbeing and how too many people who are mentally ill end up homeless.  The reasons are complex and no one organisation can solve this.  I am a big believer in partnership working and collaboration. For example, I am a founder member and current chair of the South East Homelessness Forum.  More recently I have worked with a systems leadership approach to mental health and homelessness with Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust, the Local Authorities, Police, Primary Care and other third sector organisations to increase shared purpose around these complex issues.  

I am pleased to have the opportunity as an Appointed Governor to continue these conversations and see how mental health and housing provision can better work together, and ensure the voice of those who are mentally ill and homeless do not become lost.