Andy Winter Needs A Reality Check
Following the recent report that a 21 year old rough sleeper in Brighton and Hove has sadly been found dead, the housing and homelessness establishment have responded. Andy Winter the Chief Exec at the Brighton Housing Trust wrote today:
We don’t need new initiatives, or new groups, or ways to make life a bit more bearable for those on the streets. We need to help them off the streets. Some worthy and well-motivated initiatives can hinder that process.
With 5 million a year being spend on homelessness services in the city and each year the number is rising, with now over 150 people sleeping rough in Brighton and Hove, I note this quote from Andy:
In reality, a lot is happening. We provide, for example, through First Base Day Centre, the basics for survival and basic dignity – hot drinks and meals, showers, toilet facilities, clean and dry clothes and critically, with our partner organisations, we help several hundred people off the streets and into housing.
I have to say why is Andy defending BHT? why is he not talking about the huge misuse of funds which are not delivering a service which saves lives? Why is Andy essentially using this horrid death to promote the activities of BHT?
The Young Rough Sleepers Mate Who Found Him
I have been informed by grassroots homelessness activists and front line volunteers that the young lads friend who found him dead at the weekend, actually spent the evening sleeping rough himself.
Imagine finding your friend dead, what affect would that have on you? I would be messed up, but then to have to sleep rough that night, this is not how we should be treating anyone in our society, especially young people.
What Can Be Done
Those groups Andy Winter is putting down are actually changing things, the Brighton and Hove Housing Coalition, which now has 30 organisations signed up is the largest in the city and Andy is starting to see that things are changing.
For example The Community Night shelter team are crowdfunding for a huge marque which will be erected this winter and set to put a roof over the heads of 60 rough sleepers. This can be achieved for a fraction of the money the establishment get, for just £20,000 we can provide sanctuary and warmth for up to 60 people at risk of death.
Candlelit Vigil In Solidarity With The Fallen This Thursday
Come and pay your respects for those we have already this on the streets of Brighton and Hove this Thursday. The community will be meeting at Brighton Town Hall from 4pm, just before the Full Council Meeting, where elected councillors will be debating rough sleeping.