Shelter for homeless gathering momentum

From The Argus

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Campaigners and organisations in the city have come together to offer support to a new night shelter for rough sleepers.

It was recently revealed that the former police headquarters Sussex House, in Crowhurst Road, Brighton, has been offered up by developer Simon Lambor, of Matsim Properties, as a night shelter.

M&S Food in Hollingbury has now pledged to offer food from the store to those using the shelter when it opens.

Craig Taylor, store manager of M&S Carden Avenue food hall, said: “I think this is a great idea and a welcome one to the local community.

“I would like to offer my support for the plan and would also like to let the public know that as part of our Plan A commitment we donate our products that are in date but going out of date that day to local charities, therefore reducing waste going into bins.”

Dex Allen Fire Associates, based near Polegate, has offered to carry out a fire risk assessment of the building and The Big Lemon and Brighton and Hove Buses are offering free bus travel for homeless people to the shelter.

Brighton Housing Trust and St Mungo’s are putting together a proposal for the management of the shelter, including support to help people move to a life away from the streets.

Tom Druitt, a Green Party councillor who suggested the council should open its unused buildings as night shelters, has been helping to co-ordinate the project.

He said: “We are planning an eight-week pilot project and have identified that we will need approximately £30,000 to prepare and operate the shelter over that period.

“We are calling on anyone with fundraising experience or funds available to support us to get in touch.”

Residents have also offered their services to help decorate, clean and provide fridges, freezers and cookers so the shelter can feed people and the project can run smoothly.

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