How we help rough sleepers in the city

People sleeping rough are a constantly changing population and the city’s street services work with more than 1,200 cases each year, 30 new cases every week. People sleeping rough die younger, are more likely to get ill and are more vulnerable to violence than those in the wider population.

To help them it is critical that we work together with other organisations.

Cold weather shelter

Service update: Wednesdaay 23 January

The SWEP shelter is open tonight Wednesday 23 January 2019. The SWEP (severe weather emergency protocol) shelter is available to all people who are rough sleeping in the city. The shelter is based at Wagner Hall, Regency Road (off West Street), in central Brighton.

Outreach workers are out in the city letting people know to go to Wagner Hall for shelter from 7pm. If you are concerned about someone who is rough sleeping, contact Streetlink and the information will be shared with outreach workers.

We open a severe weather shelter in extreme weather conditions. The shelter is also known as SWEP (which stands for Severe Weather Emergency Protocols). It provides shelter for all rough sleepers in the city and venues are made available to meet demand. The main base is at Wagner Hall, West Street.

The trigger for opening the shelter is when a “feels like 0 degrees” temperature is forecast by the Met Office and also takes into account windchill. (This is lower than the previous trigger of when the Met Office forecast two consecutive nights would be 0 degree Celsius or below.) The change was made following public consultation showed support for opening the cold weather shelter more often

The shelter can also open throughout the year to respond to the impact of severe rain, snow and wind chill. The shelter opens when the Met Office issues an amber weather warning and shelter is needed from the elements. This can happen when the temperatures are above freezing.

We are always as flexible as possible, and adapt to the needs of rough sleepers. We are dedicated to making sure vulnerable people on are streets are cared for, not just in extreme weather, but throughout the year.

Find out more about how the shelter is run when it is open

Winter night shelter

A night shelter for rough sleepers is running during the winter months, based in the Syndicate Wing at the Brighton Centre. Following evaluation of the 2017/18 shelter experience, the shelter will continue to have space for 30 people and places will be allocated by referral from the council’s outreach service, St Mungo’s.

The shelter opened on 24 November 2018 and will run until March 2019.

Rough sleeping hub

The rough sleeping hub provides a safe place for up to 17 rough sleepers. People staying at the hub will have their needs assessed to develop plans to move them away from the streets. The aim is to act swiftly as a short term intervention when people start rough sleeping and to find out how best to help.

The hub is not a drop in centre. Places at the hub are allocated by referral from the council’s outreach service, St Mungo’s, and the hub is managed by Brighton Housing Trust. The hub is funded for nine months to give time to check the outcomes and decide on next steps.

Funding for the hub has been provided directly from Brighton & Hove City Council and also a successful bid by the council for a grant from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

Expanded rough sleeper street outreach team

We have significantly increased the capacity of the street outreach team (run by St Mungo’s). The team is able to connect with people who are rough sleeping sooner than before and work more intensively to help them with their housing plans as a result.

Support for the Churches’ Night Shelter

The Churches’ Night Shelter is an independent shelter run at various locations by volunteers. It has space for 15 beds when open. The council has allocated funding from a successful bid for a government grant to support the shelter. The number of dates the shelter can be opened will be increased as a result and it is due to run for five months this winter.

Our rough sleeping priorities

Our rough sleeping strategy aims to help people who are already sleeping rough, as well as people at risk of homelessness including those who are sofa surfing and living in vans, tents and squats. It also covers people who are in hostels after sleeping rough.

The strategy has five key priorities:

  • Preventing Homelessness and Rough Sleeping
  • Rapid Assessment and Reconnection
  • Improving Health
  • A Safe City
  • Pathways to Independence

Our partners

The following organisations have joined us in working towards making this strategy work. We are working with them and many other organisations to support people in the city. 31 organisations, partners and groups are listed in the rough sleeping strategy.

Helping us help rough sleepers

Find out how you can help rough sleepers