Motion Was Passed!!

A motion for making vacant council buildings available for use as homeless shelters was put forward by Tom Druitt and seconded by David Gibson. It was unanimously voted on and passed on Thursday 26th January 2017. An urgent report will now be put together and heard at the next policy, resources & growth committee meeting.

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We have been told by councillors that this is unlikely to be ready in practical terms until next winter. In the meantime we plan to keep the pressure up on the council with regard to (SWEP ) Severe Weather Emergency Protocol.

To support in keeping the pressure up you could consider emailing jenny.knight@brighton-hove.gov.uk and clare.moonan@brighton-hove.gov.uk to express (or demand) that the council must change their arbitrary decision making process when deciding whether to activate SWEP or not. They should be applying the charity ‘Homeless Link’s guidance of ‘Extended Winter Provision’ from November through to February for folk living on the streets. Instead of waiting for it to be below zero for three consecutive nights. They need to consider the rain, wind and other conditions which also have a severe impact.

F.Y.I. Homeless Link guidance

 

Call for emergency homeless shelters to remain open throughout winter

Pressure is growing on Brighton and Hove City Council to extend the opening times of emergency homeless shelters in the cold winter months.

Activists said ‘Severe Weather Emergency Protocol’ (SWEP) was activated in Brighton and Hove as temperatures dropped over the weekend and on Monday night, but halted again on Tuesday as the weather was no longer deemed to be extreme.

 

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The First Base centre in St Stephens Hall on Montpelier Place was used as emergency shelter for rough sleepers during SWEP. Entry was permitted from 8pm onwards, with no referral or local connection needed.

Campaigners are now heaping pressure on councillors to protect rough sleepers by extending the scope of SWEP to last throughout the winter, rather than for isolated periods of extreme weather.

Ree Melody, of campaign group Love Activists Brighton, said: “The council needs to change their arbitrary decision making process and consider the severe impact which the rain, wind and other conditions have on those living on our streets, instead of waiting for it to become below zero temperatures for three consecutive nights running.”

Currently the requirements state that three consecutive nights at zero or below is the minimum requirement to activate SWEP responses.

The Love Activists group has been lobbying the council to apply ‘Extended Winter Provision’ as advised by the guidance from the charity Homeless Link, which would make it possible for councils to open emergency centres from November through to March.

A Homeless Link report which aims to advise local authorities on providing appropriate responses for people sleeping rough says the authority in question should consider factors ‘such as wind chill, snow coverage and duration of extreme weather’ when considering adequate provision.

It adds the aim of the protocol is to prevent deaths on the streets and local authorities should do everything they can to prevent harm.

Ms Melody said: “Love Activists have been lobbying the council for the past couple of years for SWEP to be open throughout winter with our other Solution Based Proposals To End Homelessness.”

These proposals include the activation of SWEP not only throughout the winter months but also in any weather which threatens rough sleepers’ health, as well as imposing affordable social rents on private landlords to ensure everyone can afford a home.

Cllr Clare Moonan, the council’s lead member for rough sleeping, said: “We do appreciate that people are concerned about rough sleepers, and especially in cold weather, and that is why we have asked everyone to support the Make Change Count campaign organised with local homeless charities this winter. With our partners, and under the Rough Sleeping Strategy, we work hard to make sure vulnerable people on our streets are cared for, not just in extreme weather, but throughout the year, and welcome the regular discussion about this at committee meetings and full council. The services we provide in extreme weather are to provide additional emergency support on top of the other services already being provided, and we do take into account weather conditions other than zero temperatures.”

A 38Degrees petition addressed to Brighton and Hove councillor for the homeless Clare Moonan demanding open night shelters for rough sleepers has now been signed by almost 4,000 people.

At tonight’s (January 26) Full Council meeting Green councillor Tom Druitt is set to put forward a motion requesting urgent action on the homelessness crisis.

Original article here

Statement Regarding the Proposed Gentrification of King’s House

Love Activists Brighton condemn the ongoing gentrification of our city while homeless people continue to die on our streets. How many more vulnerable human beings will die whilst Brighton & Hove City Council and UK Gov. Plc pass the buck? BHCC offer fine words regarding homelessness but that is all they can offer, because it seems that neither our local authority, nor parliament wield any actual power. The real power lies with the 1%, who evidently care not for the suffering of others.

Kings House should be an asset of community value, used to provide truly affordable and accessible homes for those on the council’s housing waiting list and for those currently without a home. It could be used to expand the successful Housing First model, which has ended homelessness in other parts of the world.

Economically, it would save tax payers money to provide much needed permanent homes in the city rather than funding the extortionately priced and often unkempt emergency and temporary accommodation.

The people of Brighton do not need any more luxury flats.

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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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