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A partnership project between BHT and CRI has been awarded £63,000 through the Community Development Foundation, under its Community Action Against Crime Innovation Fund.
The pilot, Community and Street Drinkers Engagement Project, seeks to improve relations between street drinkers and other members of the community and find solutions to problems experienced by both groups which balance community safety, and health and social exclusion agendas.
The project has been developed as a result of tensions between members of the street drinking community and local residents and businesses in two hotspot areas; The Level in Brighton and Blatchington Road in Hove. Police and the Council regularly receive complaints regarding street drinking and antisocial behaviour, with residents and traders reporting they feel intimidated and unsafe in these areas.
BHT and CRI will employ a clinical practitioner to work alongside CRI’s Rough Sleepers Street Services and Relocation Team to tackle the two elements of this problem: the need to support drinkers to reduce their drinking so they can be assessed and keyed into services, and to work in the community to address the real and perceived issues in the specific areas and find solutions to meet the needs of both groups.
BHT and CRI are really looking forward to starting this targetted work with street drinkers in designated local areas, to seek ways to improve community relations and reduce fear of crime. Working with both groups to find mutually agreeable solutions will, we hope, bring positive changes to both the street community and local residents and traders.
Nikki Homewood, BHT Director of Homelessness and Complex Needs