The council is urging people to get behind its ‘Make Change Count’ campaign to support the homeless, as more charities get on board.
This comes as it was revealed Brighton and Hove had the second largest homeless population in the country, second only to Westminster. The last count which was taken in November estimated there were 178 rough sleepers in Brighton and Hove, a 24 per cent rise on the previous year.
The council has teamed up with homeless charities for the campaign, which gives people the option of donating directly to the campaign rather than giving cash to the homeless. The money then goes towards support services for rough sleepers. It also asks residents to say where they’ve seen rough sleepers in need so that help and support can be offered.
This year’s Make Change Count campaign sees three additional charities join the venture.
The existing charities on board, St Mungo’s, Brighton Housing Trust, Nightstop, Equinox and Antifreeze, will be joined by The Clock Tower Sanctuary, YMCA Downslink Group and YMCA Brighton.
Colm Keegan, interim head of services at Equinox Brighton, said: “The campaign continues to raise awareness about how people can make informed decisions when giving money or other items to rough sleepers. We’re always keen to say that we’re not telling anyone how they should spend their money, that’s a matter of personal choice.
“We are sharing our experience of working with people in need and know that giving money on the street can be counter-productive. It’s a very human reaction to want to help and to hand over money when asked but this can lead to people becoming entrenched in their current situation when more effective help is available.
“A key part of the campaign is about asking people to say when they are concerned about a rough sleeper. Residents can share their concerns using the Streetlink service which provides outreach workers with the information they need to support people on our streets into accessing services to change their lives.
“We know Brighton and Hove is a caring compassionate city where people really do want to make change count.”
To find out more, or to donate, visit: just.ly/makechangecount2018