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Evicted duo pitch tent at old Brighton and Hove benefits office
Staying in a tent is never the most comfortable of experiences.
So how would you feel about living in one?
A couple have set up camp outside Brighton and Hove City Council’s former housing benefits office, Priory House, in Bartholomews as a protest over homelessness.
The pair, who would only give their names as Steve and Gabby, have been living in their tent for four days after being evicted from a nearby squat.
The couple said they found the gate to the site open and wanted to highlight the plight of homeless people in the city.
Living in the two-man tent, they have been helped out by pubs which have let them use the toilet and provided them with water.
The couple said they were determined to stay.
They said someone had already threatened to get them moved.
Steve, who has been homeless for 17 years and spent 11 months on the streets of Brighton, said: “There are more and more homeless people in the city.
“We keep seeing new faces in the soup queues.
“So we are sleeping in a tent outside the council building as a sort of protest.
“We don’t want to be here.”
The pair have been using the facilities at First Base Day Centre when they are not in their tent.
A council spokesman said: “We can’t comment on individual cases but we helped 496 homeless people last year, have an outreach team that offers support to rough sleepers and our joined-up homelessness services have been cited by the government as an example of best practice. Homelessness is a growing problem nationally.
“Our housing needs assessments are robust and fair and while there is a serious shortage of affordable housing in the city we have a duty to make sure the accommodation that is available goes to the people who need it most.”
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