The Brighton Picture
Today readers it is with deep regret that I bring you some of the worst figures in the UK for people experiencing homelessness, last year from Jan – Dec 2022. 43 people died whilst homeless in BRIGHTON AND HOVE.
As announced by the Museum of Homelessness, Brighton and Hove have the highest death rates in England per 100,000, and second across the entire UK, beaten only by Belfast.
Jess Turtle Project Founder said: “These figures for Brighton are horrific and are evidence that something is seriously wrong. For Brighton to be seeing a higher death rate than Manchester, Glasgow and London is absolutely appalling. We encourage the council to work closely with campaigners on the ground in Brighton and Hove who have the answers to this crisis. We want to see action taken to stop further loss of life.”
These are not statistics for the faint hearted, these are not stats to be proud of, these are stats which should scare and make people take a long look at the services which are provided.
We know there are 111 Organisations in Brighton and Hove that all offering some sort of service to people experiencing homelessness, it does beg the question when will these services speak out against this continuing poor trend locally.
I first became a homeless advocate after experiencing homelessness myself back in 2015, this was due to many factors, all of which were out of my control, whilst living in unsupported emergency accommodation I saw 4 body bags leave Percival terrace in the 9 months I was living there.
It goes deeper, these unsupported, unsafe, and chaotic environments combined with a lack of support and often bullying mentality of the private sector landlords and the Hostile Brighton and Hove City Council Housing Options team are all factors which lead to people disconnecting further and ultimately dying way before their time.
Dissapointing Response By Brighton & Hove City Council
Yesterday when the story was broke locally by Zac Sherratt in the Argus I was shocked to read the press offices response from Brighton & Hove City Council, which was seemingly to deny all knowledge and accountability.
The statement from an unknown spokesman said: “We deeply regret the death of anyone who has found themselves homeless. However, we do not recognise the number of deaths quoted. We do not understand what the figures relate to, or the methods used to collate or verify them. Brighton and Hove does have a housing and homelessness crisis. This is a result of national issues such as an inflated housing market, a lack of affordable housing and increasing wealth inequality.”
The Brighton & Hove statistics were provided by Brighton and Hove City Council and other local services, so it was a surprise to read the councils response yesterday morning, especially as I have the original FOI data they provided.
Freedom of Information Request – Brighton and Hove City Council
Emergency Accommodation: 8 Deaths
Date of death: 23/02/2022, 25/02/2022, 08/03/2022, 12/03/2022, 03/05/2022 17/05/2022, 30/09/2022, 24/12/2022.
Cause: Unknown, Physical health: stroke, Unknown, Suicide, Unknown, Overdose, Physical health: infection, Unknown.
Age: 66, 45, 58, 32, 29, 38, 35, 30.
Gender: Male, Male, Male, Female, Male, Male, Female, Female
Based on the provided data, the medium age of death from emergency accommodation is approximately 35.5 years.
It is worth noting that the ages of those who died in emergency accommodation vary widely, with the youngest being 29 years old and the oldest being 66 years old
Supported Accommodation: 19 Deaths
Date of death: 01/01/2022, 24/02/2022, 11/03/2022, 20/05/2022, 14/06/2022, 19/06/2022, 01/07/2022, 17/09/2022, 19/10/2022, 08/11/2022, 15/11/2022, 23/11/2022, 25/11/2022, 08/12/2022, 22/12/2022, 26/12/2022, 29/12/2022, 01/08/2022.
Cause: Physical health: cancer, Physical health: cancer, Accident, Drug or alcohol related, Physical health: heart, Drug or alcohol related, Physical health: other, Drug or alcohol related, Physical health: infection, Unknown, Drug or alcohol related, Drug or alcohol related, Drug or alcohol related, Unknown, Unknown, Drug or alcohol related, Physical health: heart, Physical health: heart
Age: 69, 60, 44, 48, 38, 52, 40, 61, 45, 53, 21, 52, 42, 31, 47, 53, 49, 44
Gender: Male, Male, Male, Male, Female, Male, Male, Male, Male, Male, Female, Male, Male, Male, Female, Male, Male, Male.
An additional death was logged for 29/06/2022 male aged between 53-65
In 2022, there were 19 deaths in supported accommodation in Brighton and Hove. The causes of death varied, with physical health issues, drug/alcohol-related incidents, accidents, and unknown causes all contributing to the fatalities. The ages of the deceased ranged from 21 to 69 years old, with a median age of 48. Much of the deceased were male. One additional death of a male aged between 53-65 was also logged.
More Data by Type of Homelessness Experienced
Winter provision / Rough Sleeper Accommodation: 4 Deaths Unknown Other: 5 Deaths Prison: 1 Death Care Home: 1 Death, Long Term Temporary Accommodation: 4, Rough Sleeping (died in hospital): 2.
Data provided by BRIGHTON AND HOVE City Council
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We understand these types of articles can be triggering and therefore if you are affected by the details in this article, maybe you are a relative or friend of someone who passed last year. Firstly I am always available and you are welcome to email me any time. Alternatively I would always say reach to a loved one or trusted friend and if not is not suitable seek out the Samaritans or the museum of homelessness wall of remembrance.
I am really keen to get to the bottom of this issue locally and ensure our next council provides an immediate inquiry upon election into these deaths.