In the last 10 years, homelessness has increased significantly across the UK; last year, 320,000 people were recorded as homeless in Britain, a rise of 13,000, or 4%, on previous year’s figures and equivalent to 36 new people becoming homeless every day. Brighton is particularly affected by this issue and has some of the highest rough sleeping indices in the Country. People sleeping rough die younger, are more likely to get ill, and are more vulnerable to becoming victims of violence than those in the general population
In Brighton and Hove the YMCA has long been Involved in supporting Brighton and Hove City Council’s Rough Sleeping Strategy and its aim of ending rough sleeping in the city. Building on the legacy of Galvanise, a campaign aimed at ending street homelessness in Brighton and Hove, over the last few months we have been working with Brighton and Hove City Council, the Diocese of Chichester and the Churches Night Shelter to find a way to utilise St Patrick’s Church to meet the needs of some of the City’s most vulnerable residents. St Patrick’s has a long association with the alleviation of homelessness in Brighton and Hove, and for many years provided hostel accommodation for former rough sleepers and single homeless people. The hostel closed in June this year and since then both the hostel and the church have been largely unused.
We are now proposing to reopen the hostel, to provide short-term homes for single homeless people, and a night shelter for up to 15 homeless people. The service is being commissioned by Brighton and Hove City Council and will be run by ourselves and the Churches Night Shelter, a coalition of local churches who have many years experience of providing night shelters across the city in rotating venues. The expectation is that the night shelter service will open in late November and the hostel will open in January 2020.
How will the service be managed?
- There will be three paid members of staff on duty all night, every night.
- There will be no lone-working in any part of the service.
- The service will benefit from volunteer and community support, which is at the heart of the ethos of St Patrick’s and the YMCA. To find out more about volunteer opportunities please email: [email protected]
- All staff & volunteers will receive extensive training as part of their induction.
- All residents of the hostel and those staying at the night shelter will be thoroughly risk-assessed before they are accepted.
- The hostel and night shelter will operate 365 days a year, for an initial period of two years.
Who will be responsible for the service/should we contact if we have concerns?
YMCA Downlink Group is the lead provider for the service and we’re pleased to be working with the Churches Night Shelter and the City Council to deliver important services to some of the most marginalised people in our Community of Brighton & Hove. You will find more about our work here: (https://www.ymcadlg.org/what-we-do/accommodation/). If you have a specific query you can email us at [email protected]
CEO Chas Walker said:
YMCA DownsLink Group have provided social housing and charitable services in Brighton and Hove for 100 years and we have strong partnership links to the wider homelessness sector. St Patrick’s has an important history as a place of Christian worship and as a humanitarian resource in the City for single homeless people – our hope is that the YMCA and the Churches Night Shelter Project can write a new chapter of the story for St Patrick’s, inspired by faith-based values and commitment to supporting the most marginalised in our community.