Street Stories Exhibition

People who are experiencing homelessness are contributing a ‘Street Stories’ Corner as an inclusive part of the Brighton Art Market (BAM) event.

Exhibiting photos taken by people who are experiencing different types of homelessness. Living on the street, in emergency & temporary accommodation, b&bs, hostels, squatting, sofa surfing, living on the road, the hidden homeless.

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There is also a ‘Street Story’ book which everyone is invited to write in. To share their homeless related stories for others to read.

The Street Stories exhibition is facilitated by Love Activists BrightonOpSafe Winter -Brighton. Two of Brighton’s grassroots outreach groups, who stand in solidarity with folk who are homeless in our city, helping to provide survival aid & campaign for an end to homelessness.

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The ‘Street Stories’ corner will be set up again this Saturday 28th May 11-4pm in Brighthelm Gardens (Just off Queens Road).

We welcome volunteers & collaboration. Please email loveactivists(at)riseup.net if you would like to get involved!

Street Stories Event Page

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Join the Love Activists Bloc, #GeneralStrike #J4 July 4th

The Lobbying and Direct Action crew have set up a facebook event page to rally for a Love Activists Bloc at the #ToriesOut #GeneralStrike on July 4th, #J4.

Join us at the general strike to protest against empty homes, homelessness and the absence of compassion on our streets!

MAKE SOME NOISE AND SPREAD THE LOVE!

Bring:

– Drums
– Other things to make noise
– A smile

Main event page for Brighton:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1071319602906938/

Love Activists Bloc:

facebook.com/events/1678381002379639/

Fairness Commission (script)

This is the script we wrote for Brighton & Hove’s Fairness Commission, which we attended on the 18th February 2016.

This document was written collaboratively using titanpad, here: titanpad.com/U4lBQ8hbmr


Through Love Activist Brighton’s autonomous actions we have got to know a lot of people living on the street. we have heard about their experiences and difficulties with getting the help and support they need. The most basic support which every human being deserves – access to shelter.
We hope that this fairness commission will hold some sway over the council with its future recommendations and so we will be frank about our proposals.
1. We don’t think it’s fair that…that people living on the streets are coerced to develop complex needs before they are able to receive help.
In May 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that when local authorities carry out vulnerability assessments, a ‘homeless person’ should be compared with an ‘ordinary person who is at risk of becoming homeless’. There is no doubt that any homeless person is ‘significantly more vulnerable’ than an ordinary person, therefore everybody living on the street should be assessed as being in priority need.
The judgement also made it clear that while councils are often under huge financial strain, this must not be used as an excuse for avoiding their legal duties. To guarantee duty of care and legal obligations are met, all local authorities must provide permanent housing for anybody living on the streets.
We hope to see this change in law properly adhered to by the council. We hope their interpretation will include those in temporary accommodation, sofa surfers, squatters, The so-called “Hidden homeless”.
2. It’s not fair that…The Housing First model is only provided for only ten people in Brighton. It should be a priority to expand it:
Some of you will know that Housing First, is a relatively recent model,  an alternative to the system of emergency and temporary accommodation.
The original housing first scheme was introduced in America and has been remarkably successful in ending chronic homelessness there and in other parts of the world. Housing first pilot project had a 70% success rate in Brighton & Hove
Rather than moving homeless individuals through different “levels” of housing which can take years to get a permanent place to call home, Housing First moves the homeless individual, or household immediately from the streets into their own permanent home. They are also offered adequate support to help with any other issues. This has proven to better meet individual needs and be economically cheaper.
We want to see Housing First made available for all homeless people, with all levels of support needs, from those who only need a home to those with extremely complex emotional and physical needs.
3. We don’t consider it fair that…the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) isn’t activated immediately, in any weather which threatens rough sleepers’ health, particularly the wet. 
The Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) was not activated recently, leaving vulnerable people to sleep out during a severe weather warning on our streets. We are waiting to hear of the changes that have been made to make this avoidable in the future. 
Last year the budget wasn’t used up for the SWEP protocol. This must mean that the emergency centres could infact be opened more often if the budget were made available. The surplus budget last year did not get carried over. We would be interested to know what happened to that surplus (and how much it was?)
If the material resources exist to provide shelter from a severe weather emergency, economic arguments against keeping the shelters open all year round are not as powerful as the humanitarian ones for opening them.
We don’t think it’s fair that…affordable social rents are not imposed on private landlords and property investors. 
It’s not fair that the provision of truly affordable permanent homes is not a priority.
We want to see present and future housing projects prioritising housing for those without a home including those in emergency and temporary accommodation. Allocating enough of these properties towards the housing first project until everyone is housed.
It’s not fair that…  so many buildings sit empty. It would make sense to make squatting empty properties safe and equitable for property owners and otherwise homeless people. 
This would make use of empty properties, keep people safe and avoid wasting tax payers money, private money and time spent on security, policing and court costs.
We hope that you will include the solution based proposals in your final report to the council.
We hope that you will use what power you have to take this discussion to central Government. We want the council to stand up to the westminster elite on behalf of all the people who have suffered and died because of their crude, ideological war on the poor.
We want Brighton to lead the charge of rebel cities in the UK, to secede from the square mile in order to prevent this crisis worsening and more people dying.

PUBLIC DEMO: March 2nd – No More Deaths On Our Streets

Love Activists Brighton & people living on the street gathered almost 2,000 signatures. Some online and most were gathered on the street in support of the Solution Based Proposals To End Homelessness

The proposals were debated at the Full Council Meeting on 28th January. They were referred to be considered at the Housing & New Homes committee meeting on 2nd March.

This Committee has overall responsibility for the Council’s housing functions, including Council housing, homelessness, allocations and standards of housing in the area.

The public meeting is expected to start from 4pm. We have been told the public cannot participate in the discussion, only to sit in to listen.

We are rallying for a demo prior to the meeting from 3pm to express that we won’t tolerate anymore homeless people dying on our streets.

We will then join the meeting, to listen to the proposals being fully discussed.

Please come & join us in solidarity, there is a fedbook event page here.