A BROKEN-HEARTED homeless man has made an emotional plea for a winter night shelter to be opened all year round.

Daniel Marshall, 40, who lost his fiancee to a suspected drug overdose in December, has written a petition urging the city council to turn the Brighton Centre homeless refuge into a permanent facility.

A large room housing 30 people a night opened its doors on December 10 – but is set to close on March 11 to make room for events.

Now Mr Marshall’s petition to keep it running has been signed more than 1,000 times.

“When I came to the Brighton Centre, I was grieving and depressed and I wasn’t sleeping or eating well,” he told The Argus on the day he finally landed a room in a city centre hostel.

“I have been so many places and seen so many faces, but I’ve never seen anything like that place. It was Heaven sent.

“I was down in the gutter, but they have lifted me mentally, physically and spiritually.”

He said he had been smoking crack cocaine three or four times a day before arriving at the hostel on January 8 but had not touched drugs since.

Mr Marshall left his London home at 15 and worked in kitchens, warehouses and shops before moving to The Avenue, Moulsecoomb, with his cousin in 2014. He met his future fiancee the following year, but she kicked him out of the house after a row last winter – just weeks before her death.

“It was a big shock to my system,” he said. “But I’ve never had so much love as I got at the Brighton Centre. Some people say we are riff raff or the scum of the earth, but we are just people who have been through a lot.

“The team at the shelter should not be broken up. I came into their life and they were just absolutely great to me.”

Mr Marshall, who is on Jobseeker’s Allowance, said he was now motivated to get back into work.

“Being unemployed is like having a flu,” he said. “The more you lie down the more it attacks you. But when you get up and get your blood pumping, it gets better.”

He said the council could do more to get people off the streets.

“What I noticed about Brighton and Hove is that they have got lots of empty buildings.

“They could work so many wonders. The mathematics of the situation just don’t add up properly.”

The petition warns “the streets can be hard and horrible and the cold can kill”.

The council has approved the idea of night shelters in principle but said the Brighton Centre was too important an asset to be used for this purpose.