Council gets cash to help rough sleepers

A rough sleeper in Brighton. Copyright Mike Pennington and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence
A rough sleeper in Brighton. Copyright Mike Pennington and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence

Cash has been handed to the council to help rough sleepers in Brighton and Hove – and today the local authority will discuss how best to spend it.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) awarded Brighton and Hove City Council a £495,107 grant in an effort to move 300 people off the streets.

The council’s Health and Wellbeing Board is set to discuss how to allocate the money to its 40 contractors working with the homeless today (July 10).

The extra cash is expected to cover the cost of expanding psychological support services, 20 units of temporary accommodation, support the churches night shelter and pay for an occupational therapist.

In November an estimated 178 people were sleeping rough in the city.

However, the outreach team worked with more than 1,500 people during the past year.

The council is also committing £165,000 to pay for a rough sleeper hub.

It also plans to open a winter night shelter.

The report to councillors states: “This funding will make a significant difference to people who are rough sleeping in the city, and who are some of the most vulnerable members of our community.

“Brighton and Hove has significant numbers of women rough sleeping and a dedicated post recognises this.

“The hub offers a service model where outreach staff have a safe place to take people rough sleeping in order to properly assess them and link them into appropriate services.”

At the end of 2016, the adult social care team received £1.3 million from the Department for Communities and Local Government for services for rough sleepers.

Statistics in the report ahead of the meeting show rough sleepers die on average aged 47 years for a man and 43 years for a woman.

The meeting starts at 4pm at Hove Town Hall and is open to the public.

Sarah Booker-Lewis is the Local Democracy Reporter for Brighton & Hove.

For more of her stories, click here.