A night shelter has been open since Sunday 10 December at the Brighton Centre providing places for up to 30 people who are rough sleeping in the city.
In the first few days that the shelter was open, the weather was severe and the SWEP (Severe Weather Emergency Protocols) shelter was also triggered. The SWEP provided an additional place to stay and many rough sleepers took shelter in the SWEP’s familiar surroundings.
Full occupancy at the Brighton Centre night shelter is due to be reached by the end of next week as people become accustomed to the new shelter.
The places at the shelter have been 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, meet regularly to organise plans for the shelter. The councillors said: “There’s been a very positive response to the shelter from across the city and, most importantly, from those coming along to stay in the room during these cold winter nights. The shelter is more than a comfortable bed, it also provides a hot evening meal and outreach workers will visit to help people look into options to move away from the streets. We’ve seen the number of people coming along to the shelter rising since it opened on Sunday. The shelter is now providing a welcome respite for many in need during the winter months.”
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.