When a person has experienced many setbacks in life, it can be difficult to find a positive way forward. Prior to coming to Route One, our mental health supported accommodation, Alice was finding it hard to cope with mental and physical health needs, a breakdown of familial relationships and substance use issues. We helped Alice gain the support she needed to see a brighter future away from sofa surfing and into independent accommodation. This is her story. When Alice was referred to Route One, she had complex needs inclusive of emotionally unstable personality disorder, and challenges with depression and intrusive … Read more


At BHT Sussex, the approach we take to help our clients is a collaborative one, ensuring they have agency in their own lives. This empowers them to change their lives and gain independent skills for living. The story of one of our Shore House clients, Harry, highlights this approach, which allowed him to recover from an intentional overdose, reconnect with his family and carry out lasting change to his lifestyle. This is his story. Following an intentional overdose of over-the-counter medication that could have proved fatal, which resulted in a hospital admission, Harry was referred to Shore House – one … Read more


Many clients who seek help from First Base, our day centre for people who are sleeping rough, have multiple and complex needs. When helping a person move away from rough sleeping and into more secure accommodation, the case workers at First Base consider all the physical and mental health needs a client may have. This approach helped Jim get off the streets. Read his story below. “Before I came to First Base, I had lost my supported accommodation and was rough sleeping on the streets. On my first visit to First Base, one of their case workers asked me if … Read more


As an organisation, one of our core missions is homelessness prevention. One way we do this work is through our Housing Advice and Legal Services. One of our clients, Diane reached out to us after rent arrears had built up over many years, and she was facing homelessness. This is her story. Diane had been a sole tenant of a Housing Association property for twenty-eight years. She was renting a three-bedroom flat and had brought up three sons in the property. Diane initially lived at the property with her partner, but they had separated for a period of time and … Read more


At BHT Sussex we are known for our resilience and ability to persevere, despite significant setbacks. This is demonstrated by our Immigration Legal Service, who helped a young man achieve refugee status after a six-year battle. This is Ishaq’s story. Ishaq grew up in Egypt, where he lived until he was a teenager. Ishaq’s father was arrested and imprisoned because of an association with the Muslim Brotherhood – a banned organisation in Egypt. It did not matter to Egyptian law enforcement whether the association was real or just perceived. The prison he was sent to is infamous for housing political … Read more


BHT Sussex is a member of Pathfinder West Sussex – an alliance of organisations working together to enable people with mental health support needs, as well as their carers, to improve their mental health and wellbeing. As part of this offering, Pathfinder has many volunteer peer mentors. Peer Mentors use their lived experiences of mental health challenges to create a supportive environment where their clients can discuss their needs, as well as work towards achieving their goals and aspirations. This is the how one of our peer mentors, Lindsay, became a volunteer at Pathfinder. “I ended up in hospital due … Read more


There can be many factors that build up to cause someone to be insecurely housed. For Jacqui, the loss of her job and the breakdown of her marriage led her to become a member of the ‘hidden homeless’ population, as she was sofa surfing. This is when she sought the help of the Accommodation for Work project at BHT Sussex. Jacqui first came to the project following her separation from her ex-husband. He retained the family home to look after their children as he was not working. After moving out, Jacqui stayed on her mother’s sofa and worked part time. … Read more


Maintaining employment whilst being insecurely housed is difficult and can have a negative impact on someone’s mental wellbeing. Our Accommodation for Work project was set up to help people like Zehra, who came to us whilst in emergency accommodation. Zehra was forced to leave her family home due to her mother’s health issues and difficult dynamics in their relationship. Facing homelessness, she was placed into emergency accommodation before coming to the Accommodation for Work’s temporary shared accommodation. Whilst this was happening, she was still working part-time as a support worker in a mental health hospital. Zehra found the job difficult … Read more


After going through the difficult journey of recovering from addiction and sleeping rough, being in secure employment can offer purpose to someone’s life. This is the story of Ross, who turned their life around with the help of our Intern Programme, and our Housing Services. “On 31st October 2014, I went into Mill View Hospital Promenade Ward for an alcohol and diazepam detox. Up until my hospital admission, I was street homeless, rough sleeping and begging for change on the streets of Brighton, Hove and Sussex. I was just over 8 stone in weight and had lost most of my … Read more


The Court Duty Scheme is a little known but incredible service which provides last-minute emergency advice for people who are facing eviction. When repossession cases are being heard in Brighton, Lewes or Hastings Courts, our specialist Housing Advisers can step in to protect people and ensure they know their rights. These clients have usually never sought advice or representation before meeting our advisers that morning. Often alternatives to eviction can be worked out, debt payments can be renegotiated, and people can stay in their homes. This was the case with Sarah, whose story is below.  Sarah is a housing association … Read more


Struggling to find employment despite incredible effort can have a big impact on someone’s health and wellbeing. This was the case with Scotty, who found it difficult to identify a clear path into work after being failed by multiple services. This, coupled with the difficulty of managing a chronic illness, made Scotty feel hopeless. However, after working with BHT Sussex’s Intern Programme, who supported Scotty and his specific needs, Scotty found a way through. This is his story. Feeling hopeless “My life was pretty bleak for many years, and I did not see much of a future ahead of me. … Read more


Living day to day Last year, I was living a hectic life in Brighton and Eastbourne – to escape that I turned up on my mum’s doorstep, and I wasn’t looking well because I’d been on drugs for a long time. After 6 months Khan’s relationship with his mum and his recovery broke down. He had to leave his mum’s house and he returned to Brighton, where he had nowhere to live. He ended up sleeping rough. Khan was initially placed in emergency temporary accommodation, through the local Street Outreach Service, but he needed more supportive and longer-term housing, and … Read more

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