The number of people sleeping rough and experiencing homelessness in our city has been rising, reflecting a troubling national trend.
This year’s rough sleeper review confirmed the number of rough sleepers for Brighton & Hove as 178 in the annual winter estimate. The situation is one that local organisations across the city are very aware of.
Charities and support agencies are helping homeless people every day of the year 24 hours a day. The best chance for a homeless person to get off the streets is with professional help. Outreach workers are in regular contact with people on the street, caring for their practical needs (such as food and clothing) as well as providing them with support to help rebuild their lives.
As part of the city-wide approach to rough sleeping, Make Change Count links local charities in an alternative giving and awareness raising campaign.
The campaign has three main aims:
• Helping rough sleepers to access support services available in the city and to move away from the streets
• Asking residents to say where they’ve seen those in need so tailored help can be offered
• Suggesting an alternative giving option to donating on the street
Speaking on behalf of the Make Change Count participating organisations, Colm Keegan, Interim Head of Services, 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.
“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 & Hove is a caring compassionate city where people really do want to make change count.”
This year’s Make Change Count campaign sees three additional local charities join the venture.
The existing Make Change Count charities, St Mungo’s, BHT, Nightstop, Equinox and Antifreeze, will be joined by The Clock Tower Sanctuary, YMCA Downslink Group and YMCA Brighton.
Donations can be made at: http://just.ly/makechangecount2018 or by texting UMCC18 £3, £5 or £10 to 70070