Make Change Count 2020 : Supporting Rough Sleepers

Paul Wright May 7, 2020

This year`s campaign to support rough sleepers in Brighton & Hove has launched. The city`s Make Change Count 2020 aims to build on four years of successful awareness and fund-raising that has brought more than £100,000 to directly support some of the most vulnerable people in the city. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on rough sleepers. Day centre and night shelters have closed to prevent the spread of the virus. Rooms have been found for anyone who is rough sleeping to give them a safe space to follow the stay at home guidance, but the rough sleepers need hep and support to adapt to new ways.

Supported by Brighton & Hove City Council, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner and the Sussex Police, Make Change Count 2020 works with local organisations that are experienced in supporting rough sleepers and preventing homelessness. BHT, St Mungo`s, Sussex Nightstop, Equinox, Antifreeze, The Clock Tower Sanctuary, YMCA Downslink Group, Umbrella Brighton & Hove and YMCA Brighton are all taking part. These organisations are working on the front line providing essential support and  gearing up behind the scenes for the work to be done after the pandemic is over.

Alison Marino, executive director of Sussex Nightstop, explained why Make Change Count is important right now: “We need to make sure we do all we can so no one feels they have to return to the streets when the coronavirus crisis is over. Helping people away from rough sleeping takes time and compassion.At the same time, our organisations are anticipating a drop in fund-raising because many of our events and activities have had to stop to prevent the spread of the virus. But the need for our services hasn’t gone away. We are also doing all we can to prepare for when we’ll be needed most when restrictions are lifted.” Chas Walker, chief executive officer from YMCA DownsLink Group, added: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with other local charities on the Make Change Count campaign again. As a charity that tackles the issues of youth homelessness, through a range of services we understand the complexity of homelessness. It is only by working together that we can tackle the issues and combat the rise in homelessness. Our aim is a future in which every young person has the opportunity to fulfil their potential. We know that the best chance for a homeless person to get off the streets and stay off the streets is with professional help. Making sure help reaches homeless people is far more effective than giving money to people directly. Make Change Count is a way for you to make that happen.”

Through Make Change Count, you can help with this essential action by supporting the aims of the campaign which are to:

  • Help people who are rough sleeping to access support services available in the city and to move away from the streets for good
  • Encourage an alternative option to giving directly to individuals on the street. You can donate to Make Change Count online today.
  • Let Streetlink know if you see anyone in need living on the streets so tailored help can be offered.

Councillor Gill Williams, chair of housing committee, said: “I’d like to say a big thank you to all the organisations who help our vulnerable residents and to everyone who supports their work. The Make Change Count campaign makes a positive difference for so money people if all ages and backgrounds. It’s great that all money donated to the campaign goes directly to people in need in our city. Contributions are used to provide food, access to shower facilities, healthcare, clothing and a wide range of practical help based on individual needs. This can be life-changing and lifesaving.”

No funds raised are used for the administration of the charities.

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