Brighton Housing Trust gets £9m to help homeless people

Nikki Homewood

Nikki Homewood

First published in News by , Reporter

Rehabilitated sufferers of abuse, addiction and homelessness are helping a charity come up with ways to put a £9.2 million grant to good use.

Brighton Housing Trust has been consulting with people who have come through addiction and homelessness to help mould their new strategies and spend the Big Lottery Fund cash.

Kevin O'Keefe, 43, suffered from alcoholism and was on the verge of homelessness before he entered a detox programme with the BHT.

Mr O'Keefe said: “I was about to lose my job, my home and my relationships so I went and asked for help.”

After spending ten months in residential rehab, Mr O'Keefe is now one of many former service users who consult with the BHT in developing new strategies to help deal with those suffering from the same problems he did.

With their new funding the BHT plans to make the system fit the individual and make sure that the most vulnerable people do not fall through gaps in care.

Nikki Homewood, BHT's executive director of homelessness and complex needs said: "This funding will enable a network of agencies across Brighton and Hove, Eastbourne and Hastings to work together with service users to develop new way's of working with people.”

“The South East Regional Partnership will focus on those people who, due to the complexity of their multiple needs, are unable to access existing services well, or at all.”

The funding will be distributed over eight years across Brighton and Hove, Hastings and Eastbourne with plans for specialist teams to help the vulnerable in each city.

The BHT also plans to have a rapid response fund to offer emergency shelter, clothing and food.

Brighton has been described as a homeless hot spot and homeless charity CRI has recorded a year on year increase in the number of rough sleepers in the city - from 588 in 2010/11 to 1163 in 2012/13.

Nat Sloane, Big Lottery Fund England chair, said: “This investment will end the revolving door of care for these vulnerable people and rather than being drains on society will allow them to become assets that benefit their communities and society as a whole.”

The most recent investment comes as part of £18.3 million that was invested by the National Lottery in Brighton and Hove last year spanning 203 different grants.

Comments (3)

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8:43am Wed 12 Feb 14

HJarrs says...

Well done BHT for helping society's most vulnerable. Were others pour scorn, you hold out a helping hand.

Argus, you have hit a purple patch of good and interesting journalism in the last few weeks, how about continuing this trend with a quality follow-up article on how the BHT container development is going on New England Rd? I am sure that many of us would like to read more on the positive work of the BHT.
Well done BHT for helping society's most vulnerable. Were others pour scorn, you hold out a helping hand. Argus, you have hit a purple patch of good and interesting journalism in the last few weeks, how about continuing this trend with a quality follow-up article on how the BHT container development is going on New England Rd? I am sure that many of us would like to read more on the positive work of the BHT. HJarrs
  • Score: 3

4:25pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Richada says...

HJarrs will be more than surprised to find me seconding his praise for the BHT.

It would do us all well to remember than any one of us is no more than a step away from the situation that these people find themselves in.

It is all too easy to be judgemental about the homeless, any direct contact with them through charities will very quickly blow away any pre-concieved ideas that those "pouring scorn" as HJ puts it have about these individuals and homelessness in general.

I can think of no better cause than this for my Lottery "donation" to go to.
HJarrs will be more than surprised to find me seconding his praise for the BHT. It would do us all well to remember than any one of us is no more than a step away from the situation that these people find themselves in. It is all too easy to be judgemental about the homeless, any direct contact with them through charities will very quickly blow away any pre-concieved ideas that those "pouring scorn" as HJ puts it have about these individuals and homelessness in general. I can think of no better cause than this for my Lottery "donation" to go to. Richada
  • Score: 1

8:44am Thu 13 Feb 14

HJarrs says...

Richada wrote:
HJarrs will be more than surprised to find me seconding his praise for the BHT.

It would do us all well to remember than any one of us is no more than a step away from the situation that these people find themselves in.

It is all too easy to be judgemental about the homeless, any direct contact with them through charities will very quickly blow away any pre-concieved ideas that those "pouring scorn" as HJ puts it have about these individuals and homelessness in general.

I can think of no better cause than this for my Lottery "donation" to go to.
Very well put.
[quote][p][bold]Richada[/bold] wrote: HJarrs will be more than surprised to find me seconding his praise for the BHT. It would do us all well to remember than any one of us is no more than a step away from the situation that these people find themselves in. It is all too easy to be judgemental about the homeless, any direct contact with them through charities will very quickly blow away any pre-concieved ideas that those "pouring scorn" as HJ puts it have about these individuals and homelessness in general. I can think of no better cause than this for my Lottery "donation" to go to.[/p][/quote]Very well put. HJarrs
  • Score: 1

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