The Brighton Centre will open its doors to rough sleepers this weekend

A room in the conference centre will be able to shelter up to 30 homeless people


From December 10th – Februray 11th the Brighton Centre will act as a homeless shelter for the city's rough sleepers as temperatures are expected to be dangerously low.

The council are looking for other venues to use until December 10th and then after from February to March to keep homeless people safer in the cold winter months.

Councillor Clare Moonan, the city’s lead for rough sleeping, Councillor Robert Nemeth and Councillor David Gibson issued a joint statement to say: “We’re united in trying to find ways to help those in need here in our city.

“This shelter will help many rough sleepers to sleep at night and provide a safe place to go as the temperatures drop.

"We know residents in the city are concerned about people living rough, especially at this time of year when the weather can be extreme.

"The shelter is one of many ways we are providing help and working with partners to keep people safe and warm this winter.”

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This news follows a report last week that revealed Brighton as the second highest area for homelessness outside London in the UK. Brighton and Luton were the only areas outside of London which came in the top 20 in the report. The use of foodbanks in Brighton has also gone up by 60%.

The opening of the Brighton Centre as a shelter is the result of a year-long, cross-party search for council-owned properties to open to the city's homeless after the council approved a Green Party proposal to convert empty buildings into more night shelters.

As the group conducting the search could not find suitable empty premises to be used so instead they looked at which of the council's operational buildings may be suitable.

Places at the Centre will be allocated through referrals from homeless outreach workers and support staff at the Centre will try to link those sleeping there with services and sources of support.

Homeless charity, Shelter, estimated 4,218 people sleep rough or live in temporary accommodation in Brighton and Hove.

The council says its agencies support around 1,500 rough sleepers over the course of the year, around half of whom are from the area.