19 September 2019 Housing and homelessness

How to help rough sleepers - Make Change Count

You can directly help people on the street by supporting the city’s Make Change Count campaign. Nine local charitable organisations are working together in the campaign, helping some of the most vulnerable people in our city to stay safe and move on from homelessness.  

Make Change Count has three main aims:

  • Helping people who are rough sleeping to access support services available in the city and to move away from the streets
  • Encourage an alternative option to giving directly to individuals on the street 
  • Asking residents to let Streetlink know where to find anyone in need so tailored help can be offered (more details below)

All money donated to the Make Change Count campaign goes to people in need in our city. Contributions are used to provide food, access to shower facilities, healthcare, clothing and a wide range of practical help based on individual needs. Outreach workers and street services guide people to access the right accommodation where they will be further helped on a one to one basis to recover physically and mentally from the trauma of rough sleeping. No funds raised are used for administration of the charities or the campaign.  

Please donate now at www.justgiving.com/campaign/mcc19 or by texting 19UMCC 3/5/10 or 20 to 70085

Will Williams, manager, Equinox, said: “We’re always keen to say that we’re not telling anyone how they should spend their money, that’s a matter of personal choice. We are sharing our experience of working with people in need and highlighting how by donating to our charities you can be sure the funds will be used in a positive way.

“Make Change Count gives people confidence that their giving has the right impact. We know there are a wide range of reasons that people beg, not all associated with a lack of accommodation. We believe that giving money on the street can sustain people in unhealthy situations. 

“By donating online or by text, you’re making a big difference. We make sure the funds go to help people, not just today, but for a better future too. You can help to save and rebuild lives by donating right now.” 

Alison Marino, executive director of Sussex Nightstop, said: “People on the street are in a vulnerable, and often dangerous, situation.  We treat people with dignity, providing the opportunity to sleep safely at night whilst they get support for the issues they are facing and work towards securing a safer, more suitable home.”

Frances Duncan, Chief Executive Officer, The Clock Tower Sanctuary, said: “We know that the public are shocked by the number of young people who are homeless in the city and really want to help. By donating to Make Change Count they can be assured that their money will contribute to moving these young people from crisis to stability.”

The nine Make Change Count charities and organisations are: 

Cllr Gill Williams, chair of housing committee, said: “We have a welfare first approach for people who are homelessness and rough sleeping in this city. Homeless charities and organisations look after vulnerable people in our city 24 hours a day all year round, providing a wide range of essential services and support. The Make Change Count campaign channels all contributions given to provide vital care and I encourage people to help if they can.” 

What do to if you’re worried about someone on the streets in Brighton & Hove:

If you are concerned about someone sleeping rough in our city, you can use the Streetlink website to send an alert. The details you provide are sent to our local outreach service to help them find the individual and connect them to support (go to the StreetLink website or call 0300 500 0914). Outreach workers are experienced in supporting people to move away from the streets.
People who are rough sleeping need help to rebuild their lives and support to move away from the dangerous existence of living on the streets. The best chance for anyone who is rough sleeping to get off the street is with professional help. 

More information:

  • Make Change Count is supported by Brighton & Hove City Council and Sussex Police
  • Make Change Count is the chosen charity for this year’s Labour Party Conference taking place in Brighton & Hove next week, highlighting the campaign to delegates from near and far

How else you can help:

Working to prevent and end rough-sleeping needs a community response. Change is happening through the efforts of many dedicated and committed volunteers. If you’d like to help, please get in touch with the organisations involved in Make Change Count to find out how your time, skills and experience can make a difference.