Helping rough sleepers and homeless people during the pandemic

The global coronavirus pandemic has changed our world in only a few weeks. In Brighton & Hove we have been doing all we can to protect residents from the spread of the virus.

People who are rough sleeping or in shared accommodation are being provided with places to stay during this unprecedented time of crisis. Working with partners across the city we are providing places to stay and food to help people away from the streets or shared accommodation.

Items such as televisions and games consoles are also being collected to help people counter feelings of isolation.

It’s been inspiring to see so many organisations working together and doing all they can to provide citywide support. This co-operation and collaboration makes a huge difference in our community and is saving lives.

I’d like to send a personal thank you to everyone who is part of the coordinated, caring and compassionate response.

It continues to be vitally important that everyone follows the guidance on staying at home and social distancing to keep themselves and others as safe as possible. We’re doing all we can to give everyone the space and support they need to follow this important health advice.

Thank you for your support.

Councillor Gill Williams
Chair of Housing, Brighton & Hove City Council

More information on what we’re doing:

  • 106 units have been acquired already and we have housed 69 people who were sleeping rough. The other spaces are occupied by homeless people who we needed to move on from shared emergency accommodation
  • We’re aiming to secure a total of 219 units on top of the 106 previously acquired. A number of other properties are expected to be confirmed in the coming days.
  • The YHA property in the Old Steine has 51 units of accommodation. It will be used specifically for anyone who has been rough sleeping and has COVID-19 symptoms
  • We are continuing work with our street outreach service and community partners to provide accommodation for every rough sleeper in the city as a matter of urgency.We have provided all of our commissioned providers (including St Mungo’s) with additional funds to buy people televisions, radios and internet enabled devices to stave off boredom when staying at home. Galvanise are working with us on collecting and distributing donated kindles, games devices and similar.
  • We are jointly working with NHS and public health as well as our other partners who provide support. This includes food and other basic provisions for those homeless who need to self-isolate where required, to ensure we have a comprehensive support system in place for the rough sleepers and for the providers of accommodation.
  • A city-wide food distribution service is available for vulnerable people. This is being led by the city’s Food Partnership, which has been doing fantastic work in this area for many years. Details are on the B&H Food Partnership website.
  • If you are rough sleeping or you see someone rough sleeping, please contact Streetlink. St Mungo’s Street Outreach Service who can then get in touch with support to access accommodation.
  • If anyone is at risk of homelessness, please contact our housing early intervention team.
  • If you think the person needs urgent medical care or they're under 18 years of age, you should call 999.