This Sunday, a night shelter opened at the Brighton Centre providing places for 30 people who are rough sleeping in the city.
The places at the shelter will be allocated from referrals by outreach workers from St Mungo’s and BHT (Brighton Housing Trust). People eligible for places have been contacted by outreach workers.
The outreach workers will also offer support to those staying at the shelter, linking them to services and sources of support across Brighton & Hove. The night shelter will run from 10 December 2017 until February 2018. Work is ongoing to find a suitable place for the shelter to run through to March 2018.
The location of the shelter is close to key support services where residents can go for facilities, such as showers, meals and help for their longer term needs.
The funding for the night shelter was agreed at Budget Council earlier this year. Councillors from the three parties on the council have been working together to find a suitable venue and open the shelter during the winter months.
Cllr Clare Moonan, Labour councillor and lead councillor for rough sleeping, Cllr Robert Nemeth, Conservative, and Cllr David Gibson, Green, have been meeting regularly to organise the plans for the shelter.
Announcing the shelter last month, the councillors explained: “We know residents in the city are rightly concerned about people living rough, especially at this time of year when the weather can be extreme. The shelter is one of many ways we are providing help and working with partners to keep people safe and warm this winter. This shelter will help many rough sleepers to sleep at night and provide a safe place to go as the temperatures drop.”
On Friday evening the SWEP (Severe Weather Emergency Protocols) shelter also opened following cold weather forecasts. The SWEP is a severe weather shelter which opens in extreme weather conditions. The service is run by staff, including managers, from day services. Due to the complex needs of some clients, they only use experienced staff. When the shelter opens, staff work very long hours to care for those in need and this is not sustainable long term.
The Churches Night Shelter also provides a place to stay overnight by referral from local partners to add to the support available for rough sleepers.
Anyone concerned about a rough sleeper should contact Streetlink. The Streetlink team shares information with outreach workers and the details are used to help connect the person to local services and support.