The annual review of the number rough sleepers in Brighton & Hove has taken place.
The rough sleeper estimate aims to identify the current numbers of people sleeping rough in the city to make sure support and resources are allocated where most needed.
The estimate is produced by Brighton & Hove City Council in collaboration with eight organisations working with rough sleepers across the city.
The group shares data and information to produce a list of all those known to be sleeping rough in the city, providing a snapshot of one night to illustrate the wider picture.
The work focused on the night of Tuesday, November 8 and the results show this year’s estimate figure is 144 an increase from 78 in 2015 and is more comparable to the estimate undertaken in March 2014 which recorded 132 people sleeping rough.
Cllr Clare Moonan, Lead Member for Rough Sleeping, said: “Understanding the needs of rough sleepers in the city helps us to make sure the right services are in place. Key to this is in knowing how many people are in need and where to find them. This year’s estimate is the most involved and detailed we’ve ever done. We feel that as far as possible we have included all the hidden rough sleepers on the city’s boundaries who are currently not engaging with our mainstream services.
“At first glance, the numbers seems to show a large increase on last year’s estimate. The reality is that we now have a more accurate reflection of the situation in the city.”
This year’s total of 144 rough sleepers is split between 126 men and 18 women.
Last year the estimate identified 78 people sleeping rough on the night of the November 3, 2015. Of these 71 were male and seven female.
Between 50 to 60 per cent of the city’s rough sleepers are not local and don’t have a connection to Brighton & Hove, in these cases everything is done to reconnect people with services in their own area if it is personally safe for this to be arranged.
Brighton & Hove City Council is committed to helping rough sleepers move away from the streets. Partners in the city, including St Mungo’s, provide the city’s street outreach service and work closely with the individuals identified as part of the estimate.
The eight partner agencies working with the council on this year’s rough sleeping estimate were St Mungo’s, Brighton Housing Trust, Saint Anne’s Day Centre, Off the Fence, Sussex Police, Equinox, the Clock Tower Sanctuary and Downslink YMCA.
Local charities are also working together with the council this winter to raise awareness of how people can help rough sleepers.
Five local charities, Pavilions, St Mungo’s, BHT (Brighton Housing Trust), Nightstop and Equinox, have organised a campaign to encourage rough sleepers to contact support services available in the city, ask residents to say where they’ve seen those in need so tailored help can be offered and provide an alternative giving option to donating on the street.
Members of the public can help rough sleepers by contacting Streetlink to share concerns about individuals who are sleeping rough.
The details are passed to the street outreach service and professional outreach workers go out to offer help to the individual.
Information can be sent via www.streetlink.org.uk or by telephoning 0300 500 0914.
To make a donation to anyone wishing to donate to the local homeless charities behind the campaign, click here: