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According the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the number of people sleeping rough has increased for the seventh year running.
In Brighton and Hove the numbers have increased from 144 in 2016 to 178, a 24% increase.
A Statement from Andy Winter, BHT Chief Executive:
These latest figures do not come as a surprise other than that they are not much worse.
This increase is due to the increasing unaffordability of private rented accommodation, the failure to build new social housing, and welfare reform.
Fortunate in Brighton and Hove we have a council that is aware of the scale of problem that works well with a number of excellent charities that prevent homelessness and help people to move off the streets.
Without these charities the situation would be much, much worse.
But the situation in Brighton and Hove is exacerbated by the inward flow of wealthier people to the city. This has an inflationary impact on house prices as does government policy such as Help to Buy and, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility, so too will the cut in stamp duty for first time buyers.
Some other areas in East Sussex are in denial about the scale of the rough sleeping crisis in spite of the growing evidence that is literally on their doorsteps.
The situation will do nothing but get worse and will only get better when central government intervenes to increase the supply of truly affordable housing for rent and reverses those policies that are resulting in homelessness and rough sleeping.
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Local organic burger business Trollburger has raised over £2,000 BHT’s First Base Day Centre.
The appeal for donations started two weeks before Christmas where owner, Paul Clark, opened his burger shack under Brighton train station on Christmas day and held a street party with music, cakes and yuletide burgers and chips for anyone who was alone or could not afford Christmas dinner.
Over 50 people attended, mainly homeless people, and surplus food went to the Severe Weather Shelter (SWEP) at First Base. A £2,000 surplus from the appeal has gone to First Base Day Centre.
The appeal spread like wildfire over social media and quickly raised over four times what was needed to fund the party.
It also attracted additional help including Maria Aurora from Brewdog Brighton, Rebecca Letchworth from Honeycomb Cakes and Louise Campbell from Mestiza Filipina, who all provided assistance on the day. As promised in the appeal, any surplus donations were donated to First Base to help people in need throughout the year.
Paul Clark, Trollburger Owner
This is a fantastic initiative. Not only did people get together to enjoy Christmas, but the funds raised will help us run our day centre.
It will help us to support homeless men and women move away from the streets. We are extremely appreciative of local businesses such as Trollburger, who make a huge difference to our work with those living on Brighton’s streets.
Deirdre O’Halloran, First Base Day Centre Deputy Manager
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The Choir with No Name, an organisation running choirs for people who have experienced homelessness, raised £4367 for local charities at The Big Christmas Singalong, a concert at Brighton Dome on Friday 15 December.
The money will be shared evenly between Brighton Housing Trust, The Clock Tower Sanctuary and The Choir with No Name.
The Choir with No Name’s annual event is fast becoming a stalwart in the Christmas calendar, and their rousing 2017 concert included a host of festive favourites, from ‘Winter Wonderland’ to ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day’. There were over 170 homeless singers on stage, with members from our Liverpool and Birmingham choirs travelling the length of the country to get there.
The Choir with No Name provides welcoming choir communities for those who have been affected by homelessness or are marginalised due to other factors, such as mental health problems or drug and alcohol addiction. Members get a hot, nutritious meal after each weekly rehearsal and have the opportunity to make friends, learn new skills and get themselves back on their feet.
To find out more:
A huge thanks to Brighton Dome for having us back there for our Big Christmas Singalong 2017. Not only did we have the most brilliant night, we are bowled over by the generosity of the audience and amazed at the amount raised! Thank you to everyone who came along and dug deep to support not only The Choir with No Name, but also Brighton Housing Trust and The Clock Tower Sanctuary.
Marie Benton, CEO and Founder of The Choir with No Name