Equinox in Brighton, along with 11 other stakeholders, yesterday signed a pledge to support the new Rough Sleeper Strategy. The strategy has 5 priority areas and a central commitment to ensure that ‘no one will need to sleep on the streets of Brighton by 2020’.
The following have pledged to support the Rough Sleeping Strategy: Brighton Housing Trust, St Mungo’s, Sussex Police, Equinox, Pavilions, Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group, YMCA Downslink, Brighton & Hove Connected, Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner and Brighton & Hove City Council.
Equinox’s work falls mainly under Priorities 1, 3 and 4.
1) Preventing Homelessness and Rough Sleeping
Our Drug & Alcohol Outreach Team are charged with engaging the hostel population of Brighton in drug and alcohol treatment. This work has a key role in sustaining peoples tenancies in hostels and reducing their impact on emergency services-preventing homelessness by ensuring people’s drug and alcohol use doesn’t lead to eviction. We introduced measures in October 2015 to assess the impact our work makes in the first 6 months of outreach support. Among those measured: evictions reduced from 3 to 0, ambulance call outs reduced by 50%, A&E episodes by 69% and arrests by 75%.
3) Improving Health
Between April and June 2016 the Drug & Alcohol Outreach Team helped 51 of the most complex need and vulnerable homeless individuals in the city to access treatment for alcohol and substance misuse issues.
Equinox has played a key role in ‘Sensible On Strength’, a major public health initiative which has seen over 140 off licences in Brighton agree to stop selling lager and cider over 6% alcohol.
4) A Safe City
Our Anti-Social Behavior Coordinator works with those homeless clients involved in high profile ASB. By tackling the issues involved such as accommodation, mental health or benefits etc we are able to divert people away from street level ASB. We use criminal behaviour orders as a last resort to help move people towards engaging with services.
We are also working with partners about ways to address street drinking hotspots and to support beggars to move away from a harmful street existence.
Following the launch Councillor Clare Moonan, Lead Member for Rough Sleeping, Brighton & Hove City Council said: “It was wonderful to see so many organisations committed to improving the lives of some of the city’s most vulnerable residents.”
For further details about the strategy please visit the page on the Brighton & Hove City Council Website.