New challenges to protect homeless people as business starts to reopen
As shops and hospitality businesses in the city being to reopen, we are continuing the work to keep homeless people safe and off the streets.
One of the large hotels we’ve been using to accommodate people is now planning to reopen.
As the numbers of homeless people with symptoms of Covid-19 in the city has been low, we’ve secured a smaller building to support anyone with symptoms.
This has allowed us to accommodate more people in our previous larger ‘symptomatic’ building.
Working with our health and voluntary sector partners, we’ve been able to move everyone from the large hotel into alternative safe self-contained accommodation.
This has been another challenging task and I’d like to thank all staff and volunteers for their continued commitment.
Accommodation for anyone who needs it
We’re currently providing food and accommodation for around 400 people.
The number of homeless people in the city continues to grow, with around ten new people sleeping rough every week.
We are prioritising all these cases to make sure everyone can get the support they need.
Sadly, we are aware that some people are still sleeping rough in the city. Some of these are people newly arrived it the city, a few people have refused accommodation, and some have left the Covid-19 accommodation they were in.
There are also some people out and about who are still staying in the accommodation.
We’re continuing to provide accommodation, food and support, but we cannot force anyone to move into it.
We strongly urge anyone rough sleeping to engage with our outreach workers so that we can help them move from the streets as soon as possible.
Accommodation is available for everyone who needs it. There is no need for anyone to be begging in the city.
Work is focussing on the plans to help everyone in the accommodation move into sustainable long-term housing.
We have been liaising closely with the MHCLG on the next stages of the support to keep people who had been sleeping rough in the city safe.
The resources involved in the programme of support have been, and continue to be, considerable.
We welcome last week’s announcement of the government’s commitment to end rough sleeping and the additional funding being made available.
We are still awaiting the details of that funding and how much, if any, will be available to support people in Brighton & Hove.
As a council, we are facing huge budget pressures and are in need of significant additional funding if we are to achieve our goal of supporting everyone currently accommodated into sustainable long-term housing.
Councillor Gill Williams
Chair of Housing
Make change count
If you’d like to support the charities working to support rough sleepers and prevent homelessness in Brighton & Hove, you can donate to the city’s ‘Make change count’ campaign.
More like this
Councillor Gill Williams, chair of housing, outlines our next steps in helping everyone provided with safe accommodation during the Covid-19 crisis to move into long-term sustainable housing.
Council leader Nancy Platts and leader of the opposition Phélim Mac Cafferty have written to the government’s homelessness czar calling for support from the Rough Sleeping Taskforce to end homelessness.
The city’s Make Change Count campaign, supporting people who are rough sleeping, is back for 2020. The Make Change Count campaign links local organisations experienced in supporting rough sleepers and preventing homelessness.