Tory austerity policies are causing people to be made homeless around the country, and in our city as well. As fast as we help people off the streets, new people become homeless.
So as a Labour council we are tackling this crisis head on – and with our new services we have succeeded in bringing down the number of rough sleepers on any given night.
But a lasting solution lies in a properly funded health and welfare system and a massive programme of affordable house building.
Our new services now include a year-round night shelter that aims to get people quickly off the streets and into accommodation, either in the city or where people can reconnect with their own home services. This is our new rough sleeper hub that opened a few weeks ago.
Our street outreach service has also expanded so it can work intensively with more rough sleepers to help them plan their route off the streets.
Our winter night shelter will be opening two weeks earlier than last year and will provide a vital additional 30 beds in the colder months.
To build on what was provided last year, the night shelter is planned to open a bit sooner each evening so people can be welcomed in more quickly and before the temperature falls too far.
All this support for rough sleepers is alongside our ambition as a Labour council to deliver homes for all.
We have increased our number of council homes for local people by almost 200 and we are providing the first ever council-owned temporary accommodation in decades.
There are many community groups in Brighton and Hove and thanks to their help and support rough sleepers can get food for free every day of the week. These groups also offer new clothes, and support and companionship.
If you see a rough sleeper, please let our street outreach service know where they are so that we can support them. Phone Streetlink on 0300 500 0914.
If you want to give money to help rough sleepers, you can donate to a local homeless charity or support the “Make Change Count” campaign which shares donations between our leading homeless charities in the city https://bit.ly/2PVWIjf.
Councillor Clare Moonan is the Labour administration’s lead for rough sleeping on Brighton and Hove City Council.