We are proud to be one of the organisations involved in creating a snapshot report of the homeless and rough sleepers sector in Brighton and Hove. The report titled ‘Working Together’ sets out to develop an understanding of the scale, scope and impact of the voluntary and community sector’s work and contribution to preventing and reducing homelessness and rough sleeping in the city. This report is a combined project between Community Works, Justlife, the Brighton and Hove Frontline Network and us.
Brighton has a diverse community and voluntary sector with organisations of all sizes working to support people experiencing rough sleeping and homelessness. Despite the amazing work of these organisations, there seems to be a lack of understanding of their contribution and overall impact, hence the need for this report.
In total 44 organisations took part in the audit survey that formed the basis of the report. The respondents represented a diverse cross section of the sector, including street-based outreach and food provision, night shelters, supported accommodation, day centres, and a wealth of projects and services geared towards supporting people to reconnect to, and stay rooted and healthy in their communities.
The report shines a light on the significant contribution of the community and charity sector in responding to homelessness. For example, based on survey responses there was a (likely underestimated) investment range of £10-20m by the sector in the provision of services for people experiencing homelessness and sleeping rough. At the time of writing, there were a total of 110 organisations offering over 204 services, either exclusively or as a key part of their delivery.
According to the report, a total of 2026 people were employed by the organisations responding to the survey, working the equivalent of 37,632 hours. However, the scale and complexity of homelessness means that demand for services exceeds the current capacity of the sector. Survey respondents observed an increase in people living in food poverty, struggling with debt, and with greater complexity of needs, particularly from young people and those with additional health and social support needs.
As well as providing a snapshot of the current situation, the report also acts as a springboard for collaboration between the organisations in the sector and different statutory partners. Working together to build and shape the future with a clearly defined shared purpose of ending the dangerous and isolating experience of homelessness and rough sleeping in Brighton and Hove.
For a snapshot of the report findings see the infographic below. You can read the full report here.