Equinox Brighton tackle rising levels of rough sleeping

Posted by on 6 March 2013 | 0 Comments

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Equinox Brighton is made up of the Alcohol Outreach Service which works with the street drinking population, as well as our Supported Housing Service, which provides accommodation and support to men with a history of homelessness and alcohol use. In the last quarter, Equinox Brighton have recorded some very positive results in tackling the issue of rising levels of rough sleeping in Brighton and Hove.

Equinox Brighton Area Manager, Jesse Wilde, shares some of those results here:

‘As well as working strategically and city-wide through multi agency forums, Equinox services have a vital, direct operational role in tackling the increasing levels of rough sleeping.

'In the last quarter, Equinox Brighton services prevented rough sleeping numbers rising even further by helping to sustain the accommodation of 27 service users with histories of homelessness and eviction. Working alongside Band 2 hostels, our targeted work helped to prevent rough sleeping by steering people away from street activity and into treatment and meaningful activity.

‘Our work at Equinox Brighton also impacts on rough sleeping through our engagement with rough sleepers who are alcohol dependent. Working alongside the Brighton Rough Sleepers Street Services & Relocation Team, First Base and St John’s Ambulance, Equinox were involved in housing people during the last quarter. One such example is a high profile rough sleeper and drinker from the Hove Pitch & Putt ‘caves’. We also began work with the Brighton Housing Trust “Lewes 2 Brighton” service, helping secure accommodation and treatment for a service user who had returned to Brighton from HMP Lewes.

‘Another important piece of our work which continued through the last quarter is working with homeless street community members to reduce their drug use and ensure they are scripted where possible. Getting 11 out of 17 of our drug-using, high-profile street drinkers onto scripts, or into meaningful contact with the Brighton Substance Misuse Service, means they spent less time involved in criminality that goes with the illegal street drug scene. This also has an impact on maintaining tenancies and engaging with services.

‘We also have a stable service user group at the Equinox Brighton Supported Housing service. They continue to make excellent progress in working towards independence through structured activity and addressing alcohol issues. Our Supported Housing service has enjoyed a long and productive relationship with Business Action On Homelessness and we were BOAH’s ‘featured agency’ in the quarter, with BAOH stressing the level of encouragement and support given by the Equinox worker to the service user involved.

‘Additionally, tangible improvements were achieved with service users gaining Supported Permitted Work status, allowing them to earn more money through work without affecting their benefits. In addition vital advocacy work has been done to help the men at our Supported Housing service with their ATOS Department of Work and Pensions appointments. The structured activity includes 4 service users engaged in voluntary work during the quarter.

‘The health and treatment outcomes included getting 4 service users linked into the Community Alcohol Team, as well as facilitating new medication for 3 service users.’

Watch this space for more news throughout 2013 from the Equinox Brighton team.

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