Proposals to continue 3 essential services helping people sleeping rough to move off the streets will be discussed at the Housing & New Homes Committee on 15 November.
The services are part of the council’s bid for the government’s Rough Sleeper Initiative round 5 (RSI5) awarded in May last year, and are wholly funded through the ring-fenced RSI5 grant.
The ‘Off Street Offer’ provides short-stay emergency accommodation in a safe place for up to 30 entrenched rough sleepers.
The service provides 24 hour support, working in a trauma-informed manner to support first stage recovery from rough sleeping.
People staying in the accommodation will have their needs assessed and personalised support to help them move permanently from the streets.
The Seagulls project offers accommodation for 36 people with medium level of support, allowing people to step down from higher support when appropriate to do so.
The Southdown Transition and Resettlement project then provides floating support for people who are ready to live independently, with the support helping people to maintain their accommodation.
Severe weather shelter
Our Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) opens when the temperature is predicted to feel like zero degrees Celsius, or there’s an amber weather warning. This is one of the lowest triggers for offering SWEP accommodation for people sleeping rough in the country.
SWEP provides shelter for all rough sleepers in the city and venues are made available to meet demand. The majority of the accommodation is in single or double rooms with a small amount of congregate space that can be used depending on demand.
The service opened for the first time last week to offer shelter to keep people during Storm Ciarán.
When SWEP is triggered, CGL’s Street Outreach Service work in partnership with the council and other services in the city, including First Base Day Centre, to refer known rough sleepers to come in to warm accommodation.
Food is also provided in the accommodation and services will complete quick assessment and support for those who may be new to rough sleeping.
While people sleeping rough are staying in SWEP accommodation, services continue to work with to find move on options wherever possible.
Concerned about someone sleeping rough?
If you’re concerned about anyone sleeping rough in the city, including people staying in tents, please let us know by reporting through the Streetlink website.
Our Street Outreach Service, provided by Change Grow Live, will then contact them to try to offer them appropriate support and housing assistance. The council funds this specialist service which provides support on the streets, all year round.
It’s important that anyone sleeping rough is offered help as soon as possible and that the assistance offered meets their needs, so accommodation for people on the streets is provided through referrals from organisations who understand what’s available and what support is needed.
Reporting where people are bedded down through Streetlink is the best way of making sure that people get the support they need. This route helps us support residents of the city still sleeping on the streets into emergency accommodation.
If you are threatened with homelessness, please contact us to get advice as soon as possible. We can support you with any problems making it difficult to stay in your home.
The homeless prevention and housing options support we provide includes action to prevent applicants from becoming homeless, help to keep or secure accommodation and a personalised housing plan.
Safe secure accommodation
Councillor Gill Williams, Chair of the Housing & New Homes Committee, said: “We believe it is everyone’s right to have somewhere decent to live, and we want to help everyone sleeping on the streets into safe, secure accommodation.
“These 3 services form a vital part of the support to help people move away from the streets.
“There is no doubt that we are facing a national housing crisis like no other, and that has a serious impact in Brighton & Hove.
“People sleeping rough in the city are a constantly changing population, with the city’s street services work with about 10 new cases every week.
“There are about 700 places in the city for adults needing supported accommodation, but sadly we’re seeing more people end up in need every week.
“If you are worried about anyone sleeping rough, please let us know by contacting Streetlink so we can provide them with the support they need.”
Make Change Count
If you’d like to support the charities and organisations across Brighton & Hove working with people to help them find a permanent solution to their homelessness, please donate to Make Change Count.
The Make Change Count campaign links local organisations experienced in supporting rough sleepers and preventing homelessness.
This year’s campaign has raised more than £1,500 so far. Many thanks to everyone who has donated.
Find out more