Winter homeless shelter helped 28 people move off the street

The Brighton Centre night shelter (Photograph: Cllr Robert Nemeth) SUS-171213-103317001
The Brighton Centre night shelter (Photograph: Cllr Robert Nemeth) SUS-171213-103317001

Opening up a night shelter for the homeless at the Brighton Centre saw 28 people moved off the streets of Brighton and Hove for the long term, the council has said.

From December 10 until March 11, 73 people were given a place for the night at the Brighton Centre or St Martin’s Church.

However, on the night after it closed, St Mungos Street Outreach Service found ten people sleeping rough who had been in the shelter.

Now Brighton and Hove City Council is reviewing last winter’s efforts in the hope of improving on them this year.

A report submitted to today’s (July 12) council’s policy and resources committee says running the winter shelter helped people feel valued and cared for.

It states: “Clients were able to leave their belongings at the service during the day, giving them the freedom to attend appointments and not look ‘homeless’

“The quality of the venue, food and volunteer input all contributed to people feeling valued and cared for.”

Each of the 30 beds was allocated to a named person. If they failed to turn up for two or three nights then their place was allocated to someone else.

Hot food was bought for the evening meals, from a social enterprise during the week and from businesses and restaurants at the weekend, organised by volunteers.

It cost £132,921 to offer a bed to 30 people for 91 nights in the shelter, working out at £49 per place.

People were sent there from First Base and the Street Outreach Service.

In addition to the Brighton Centre shelter, a further 243 people were helped for the 43 nights the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) was in place.

During this winter £45,355.93 was spent on SWEP which worked out at £32.50 per person per night for a basic mattress on the floor for the night without hot meals or storage.

Emergency accommodation in the city is £34 per night or block booked at £29.

For this winter the council has allocated £165,000 towards a rough sleeper hub

More support services are being commissioned as well as 20 units of emergency accommodation using a £495,107 grant from the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government.

The policy and resources committee meeting at Hove Town Hall at 4pm today is open to the public.

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

For more of her stories, click here.