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Brighton Journal | July 19, 2019

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The Clock Tower Sanctuary: How they help the young homeless community of Brighton

The Clock Tower Sanctuary: How they help the young homeless community of Brighton
Hannah Midgley

The Clock Tower Sanctuary is open six days a week to “provide a friendly, bright, centrally-located, safe space for young people to engage with their peers…without the worry of having to share a service with older homeless people who can be intimidating”. They support the young homeless people of Brighton when they need it most. A majority of the people that come to them for hep are those who are homeless due to a relationship breakdown, family or partner, meaning they have no other place to go. 1/5  of young people will be homeless at some point in their life. On their website they detail that for most of the young homeless community in Brighton and across the UK, they have grown up in a household with neglect and/or abuse and almost always come from broken or dysfunctional homes.

The sanctuary has a fully stocked kitchen, shower, laundry facilities, computer and telephone services, a postal address and drop-ins from specialist services. They run a whole programme to help young people get off the streets such as CV writing workshops, AQA accredited classes developed with Centrepoint and an afternoon class every day of the week. In the afternoon workshops those participating can do Music, Yoga, an In2Work drop-in, table tennis and games as well as a Women’s group on a Wednesday and a Men’s group on a Thursday. The Clock Tower Sanctuary is open most days between 11am-3pm and is a vital part of keeping the young people affected by homelessness in touch with services they otherwise would not be able to access. In 2015, the last accessible data on the sanctuary they provided 4,056 meals, 1,100 showers, 714 telephone usages and 73 crisis fund applications.

On their website they detail ways that the public can help. They receive no statutory funding and all of their income relies on donations. They say that £5 “could pay for a young person to have a hot shower, wash their clothes and to prepare and eat a nutritious meal”. £20 “could provide a young person with new shoes or a shirt and tie to go to a job interview or wear on their first day”. £200 “could train a Clock Tower Sanctuary volunteer to support young homeless people at our day centre.” £500 “could pay for the day centre to be open for a day. Helping us provide a full range of crisis and support services.”

As homelessness rates surge across Brighton, there are more and more people being put into vulnerable situations. The Clock Tower Sanctuary is an important piece of Brighton’s infrastructure and alongside other ongoing projects such as Galvanise, hopefully the problem will slowly begin to reduce. As mentioned in our article on Galvanise, a change in heart and understanding is needed in order for change to happen – namely seeing the issues that are in the infrastructure of our country as the problem and not the homeless people themselves.

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