The aim of this community brief is to raise awareness locally about the European Campaign to End Street Homelessness which is co-ordinated by the Building and Social Housing Foundation. The campaign was launched in 2016 in Barcelona and Valencia in Spain, and in Croydon and Westminster in the UK. Over 1,000 volunteers have taken part in to date.
1. Housing First: Housing people in permanent, safe, affordable housing with support to sustain it.
2. Knowing who’s out there; knowing individuals by name and understanding their needs.
3. Regularly tracking progress of individuals toward ending homelessness.
4. Improving local systems; so they are better coordinated, simple to navigate and target resources.
5. Learning from and sharing with others and working together to maximise the campaigns potential.
In February 2017, Brighton & Hove applied for the City became a member of the European Campaign.
In Brighton & Hove the number of people sleeping rough has increased ten-fold since 2010 and this has meant that we have the second highest number of rough sleepers in the country. We know that we have been doing has helped prevent homelessness in many cases but what we are doing is not enough because the numbers keep rising.
Locally, the campaign is called Galvanise Brighton & Hove. Galvanise is being led by YMCA DownsLink Group and Brighton YMCA with support from St. Mungo’s, Brighton & Hove City Council, Brighton Charity Link Project and Fulfilling Lives.
Galvanise has already got a wide range of supporters including a local community organisations, local faith groups and local businesses including the i360.
Galvanise is a vehicle through which to harness the goodwill of our communities to address a complex and challenging social issue which we currently struggling to manage and it sits alongside Brighton & Hove’s Rough Sleepers Strategy in its ambition to ensure that no one needs to sleep rough by 2020.
Phase one of the campaign by carrying out some research to find out about the lives of rough sleepers and we will do this by recruiting a large number of volunteers to go out on to the streets of Brighton & Hove to talk to people sleeping rough about their lives and aspirations. We are calling this Connections Week and it will take place 28th November – 1st December 2017.
Anyone interested in finding out more can visit the website www.GalvaniseBH.org which has an application for anyone wanting to volunteer.
Following Connections Week there will be a Community Briefing event at the i360 to announce the findings of the research and some key recommendations for future action. We will invite a wide range of local stakeholders to this event including those that will be needed to move to phase two of the campaign which will focus on implementation of the key recommendations to improve existing services and to facilitate conversations with different sectors of the community about ideas for innovative housing solutions.
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