Homeless people have moved 31km from Brighton struggling with the loss of the support network


HOMELESS people displaced from their communities are struggling with the loss of a support network, new research shows.

The report by Brighton charity Justlife reveals the mental health struggles of homeless people being sheltered in Eastbourne, Peacehaven and Newhaven outside the area.

Like other local authorities, Brighton and Hove is housing some of those affected by homelessness outside of Brighton as demand for temporary shelter for the homeless exceeds capacity.

Nationwide, this practice has increased by 344 percent since 2010.

The Argus, as before, conducted several inquiries into the housing of homeless people in the Kendal Court flats in Newhaven.

At least 10 people died after being housed in a transitional or emergency home on the block from 2016 to 2021.

We’ve spoken to several residents who have described how upset they were to be there.

In Justlife’s report, the charity interviewed people who had reported themselves as homeless to Brighton Council, who were then sent between 10 and 31km away.

Most of those interviewed indicated that they were given very little information and had no choice, and because they were far from support from friends, family and support services, they struggled with their mental health.

The names of the respondents were not given for data protection reasons.

One respondent said: “They sent me here from this place, to a house where random strangers live, absolutely broken, with no friends, and I’ve struggled every day to keep going.”

Another said: “All my friends, my entire support network is down here so I had nothing or nobody when they pushed me out of the area.

The report also assesses the impact of an Out-of-Area Specialist Support Worker role, set up in 2021 as a pilot scheme in agreement between Justlife and Brighton and Hove City Council (BHCC) to meet the needs of people who lose out needed support when placed outside the area.

The BHCC-funded worker’s role included escorting people to Brighton health appointments and sorting through essentials such as groceries, bedding, medicines and Universal Credit.

It also helped them manage their mental health, a support that was crucial in keeping them from breaking away from much-needed services and falling through the cracks.

One person said: “Just the fact of having them [the support worker] made my anxiety less.”

Signe Gosmann, author of the report, said: “The increasing use of out-of-area placements is a sign of a system not meeting demand.

“This comes at a terrible human cost for vulnerable people.

“Most of our respondents suffered from PTSD and had significant support needs, but were placed far from any support they had.

“It’s encouraging to see that our out-of-area support agent has been able to make a difference.” Homeless people have moved 31km from Brighton struggling with the loss of the support network

Fry Electronics Team

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