Hanover Homeless Project: One Step Closer…The proactive community project helping Brighton’s homeless

As the news trickles in about rough sleepers being fined upwards of £100 across the country and the homeless population of Brighton nearing crisis point, the Hanover Homeless Project is aiming to help where the government is lacking. The focus of the project is to raise money to provide ‘starter packs’ for those moving from the streets into temporary and/or emergency accommodation. As any Brighton resident will be aware, in the last year or so the homeless population in Brighton has nearly doubled and it’s now almost impossible to walk within the city centre without being approached multiple times for money and food. We have made this point on a couple of occasions but it is important to recognise that the issues that lead to a person becoming homeless are the problem not the homeless people themselves.

The Hanover Homeless Project began when a homeless man asked for help on Facebook group, ‘Hanover Community Notice Board’ . Many people offered him help, from lending him a umbrella to donating to his Just Giving page. One day he just disappeared and those who had helped grew concerned. It became obvious to members of Hanover’s community that so many people cared and wanted to help rough sleepers. Lots of discussion followed as to the best way of helping rough sleepers.  It became apparent to those wanting to do something that they were not sure how – enter Hanover Homeless Project.

One member of the ‘Hanover Homeless Project’ Facebook group posted an anecdote with an idea of how to help people in need. She said “I saw an old homeless guy sitting in a corner outside of the convenience store opposite The Richmond. He had clean jeans and shoes, a small suitcase, long white hair and a beard with no front teeth. I went to give him some cash & tissues. He was crying. He said he had never asked for anything & that he was so cold. He said that he sits in McDonald’s. I told him pick up bus tickets, as on the back of 80% of them are McDonald’s & Burger King discount deals. He didn’t know. His eyes lit up. That’s hot food & life & temporary shelter. He’s back there now, not begging, just hiding and sheltering. Please help him if you can. He seems to be there all day most days, not begging, just sitting in a corner. Please give your used bus tickets with these discounts to the homeless.” Such a simple thing most of us would throw away could genuinely help someone keep their humanity for a little while longer. If you don’t have change, direct them to a place that you know may be able to help. There’s little government infrastructure in place as it stands so it’s up to members of the public to provide what we can until real measures are put in place to prevent this happening in the first place. These people are still human and what might not be worth much to you, will be worth a lot more to others.

The project is holding their first fundraiser on the 5th May at St Luke’s Church. The money from the fundraiser will go to the ‘starter packs’ the group is hoping to make. They have some pretty great prizes for their raffle which is only £1 to enter. Those prizes are –

1. Bluebird Tea Co. Pick ‘n’ Mix Tea Giftbox / 2. A make-up session by Eloise Stevenson / 3. A hardback copy of Philip Pullman’s ‘The Book of Dust’ signed by the author / 4. A photographic tutorial by Dave Livsey / 5. 2 Bottles of wine from the Charles Napier pub / 6. A hamper of goodies from Bhavin Patel at Guyatri News / 7. A four-hour baby-sitting session by Beverly Bishop / 8. Brunch and drinks for two at Starfish Coffee / 9. An oven clean by Bright ‘n’ Shiny / 10. One of four ‘I AM’ Affirmation Bands by Soul Analyse / 11. Two of four ‘I AM’ Affirmation Bands by Soul Analyse / 12. Three of four ‘I AM’ Affirmation Bands by Soul Analyse / 13. Four of four ‘I AM’ Affirmation Bands by Soul Analyse / 14. A two hour clean by Cleanarama / 15. A bottle of Hanover Sauce by the Hanover Sauce Company / 16. One of three Bot’s by screwedsculpts / 17. Two of three Bot’s by screwedsculpts / 18. Three of three Bot’s by screwedsculpts / 19. A selection of beauty products by Me, Myself and I  / 20. Tickets to a performance by the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra / 21. One of two 30minute music lessons from Ryan Bradley / 22. Two of two 30minute music lessons from Ryan Bradley / 23. A children’s toy from Amy’s Attic / 24. A copy of a5f8 issue 1 the London Street Art edition, a limited edition visual magazine / 25. A copy of a5f8 issue 2 the London Typography edition, a limited edition visual magazine / 26. A thali lunch for two at Manju’s / 27. A family/couple photoshoot including post production by Lauren Mabbett / 28. A 100ml bottle of Dior Poison Girl / 29. A 125ml bottle of Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male / 30. A bottle of wine from Southover Wines

The group are asking for help, which doesn’t necessarily have to be in monetary terms. They’re looking for volunteers to get the project on the ground running and need as many people as they can get. The next meeting will be on Monday (16th April) at 7pm at the Southover Pub and even if you can’t provide anything for the raffle or funds, it’s still important to have people power to keep the project going – the more members of the public that help the project, the more homeless people can be helped.

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