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.


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 and 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.



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

STREET STORY: The Cost of Punishment

The word is that if a person gets exploited by the criminal justice system and put inside for less than 12 months for say repeatedly begging (asking for help!) or somesuch, it costs an average of 68k per year.

The state has no obligation to house you and you’re slung onto the street with a £49 discharge grant. Put on an ‘at risk’ licence but receive no supervision or support!:/

That helps with the perpetual cycle of homelessness and coercion into possibly criminal activities doesn’t it?

STREET STORY: Have 2 More People Died On Our Streets?


Heard news last night that 2 more homeless people have died last weekend. Unsure of who yet. Will be calling the police station for any info.

When we rang the past couple of times over the past few months after hearing of the deaths of other people, the senior street community police officer ‘Sergeant Siggs’ failed to call us with any info or to even just say he wouldn’t be able to share any info due to data protection, nothing. Despite expressing that we were trying to find out whether the guy who had been found was someone we knew or not, for ourselves and others living on the street. We still have no answer to whether one of the guys we knew is dead or alive 😦

We rang back after another person died 3 weeks afterwards and voiced the upset from hearing no response when we previously called and needing to make another request for info about someone else. The officer i spoke to was most apologetic and reassured me that she would ask Siggs to call back … we never had any response.

We have also heard a report that when Officer Siggs was on duty recently, in plain clothes kicked at someone asleep on the street to wake them up (the police routinely do this at around 6/7am apparently). We have heard that the officers do this instead of shaking them by their body as less intrusive!? Siggs told us they do it to encourage people to go to First Base. The police tell them that if they refuse or don’t use the services for various reasons, whatever they are, they are not considered or respected. Instead they get arrested.

The person asleep when woken apparently didn’t know him as an officer, and the fact that he was in plain clothes too, the person felt vulnerable and hit out at his leg worried that someone was starting on them. Siggs arrested them. The person was later released as CCTV footage showed that Siggs had kicked him first. No charges were applied.

People on the street are reporting back that officers, including Siggs are on a mission waking people up and telling them to move on or they will be taken into custody 😦

If anyone has any info/news on the two deaths deaths last weekend please let us know. We heard one young guy was found dead near the Brighton Wheel.

STREET STORY: All Homeless People Are A Priority (It’s The Law)


Over the past 6 months I have been working hard to help support one guy living on the street to get housed. Yesterday, 25th February, he moved into supported accommodation 🙂

The process has been long, frustrating and a complete joke in all honesty. Even one worker within the services admitted that this should have been sorted out months ago.

The bureaucratic process took all of 2 and a half months just to recognise him to be in priority need because of his health issues.

I stand strong with the belief that ALL people living on the street are in priority need and needing the basic right of a home. As the judge stated at the Supreme Court last May with regard to the vulnerability assessment process:

“All homeless people should now be compared with an ‘ordinary person who is at risk of becoming homeless”

Being homeless has a significant detrimental impact on everyone’s wellbeing, making all people vulnerable, therefore anyone who is homeless should be deemed a priority!

He was first moved into emergency accomodation last December. A small, smelly, dirty room without any bedding owned by Baron Homes. One of the workers of a homelessness service has since said they would not move a member of their own family in there. There was no support to help him with the transition after living on the street on and off for around 27 years. (he did get encouragement from his friends living on the street telling him to go indoors though!!) He was not allowed any visitors so he felt isolated and began to drink more and soon returned back to the streets.

This happened after he lost his key card and didn’t get the support he needed by his keyworker at the time to support him getting a new one. At the same time he was arrested for begging and had bail conditions which prevented easy access along the main road to his emergency room.

A couple of days later he was beaten up.

A friend took him out of town to be safe and rest up. I truly believe his life was seriously at risk as that week escalated from bad to worse because he didn’t have access to his emergency room, although that wasn’t even suitable for his needs, and he was lacking the support he very much needed at the time.

The process up to this point had taken many texts, phonecalls, visits to doctors, nurses, support centers, and the council. Along with the support to help keep appointments, filling out forms, acting as an advocate at times and putting pressure on his key worker. Their workload was apparently extremely high and they were struggling to offer him the full support which he needed. It was concerning how this team didn’t seem to be flagging up that they were struggling. It is a serious threat to vulnerable people’s wellbeing, even their lives.

He came back to town a few weeks later after much needed rest and found himself with a new keyworker and his emergency room was still available. He went to meet the landlord to get a new key card but the landlord never turned up. So understandably in his situation, he blew it out. He felt let down by the continued lack of support. He expressed that the accommodation wasn’t right for him anyway. His new keyworker with more ‘encouragement’ from myself, had a few meetings and managed to get him on the waiting list for more suitable supported accomodation which he now has. He is feeling positive about it now and it sounds like they will be able to offer him the balance of support and freedom which he needs.

There is no doubt that without my determination, drive and pressure and his willingness to work with that,fuelled by his own genuine concerns for his wellbeing, he would still be living on the street and wouldn’t be where he is now. It has flagged up how the outreach team at St. Mungo’s, although they are good people and work hard and are ‘doing their best’  are overloaded and unable to give the full support which is needed by many individuals. The council’s process of who they will see as in ‘priority’ need is inhumane and unfair and takes too much time whilst leaving vulnerable people with serious issues left vulnerable on the streets.

‪#‎NoMoreDeathsOnOurStreets‬ ‪#‎PeopleB4Profit‬ ‪#‎Right2Shelter‬