Make Change Count 2020: the city’s campaign to tackle street homelessness

The city’s Make Change Count campaign, supporting people who are rough sleeping, is back for 2020. More than £100,000 has been raised and gone directly to help some of our most vulnerable residents since the campaign began four years ago. This year’s fundraising page is now live.

The campaign is more needed than ever. The global pandemic has had a huge impact on vulnerable rough sleepers. This has been seen here in our city as elsewhere.

Day centres closed and night shelters stopped running to prevent the spread of the virus. At the same time, rooms have been found for anyone who is sleeping rough to help them have a safe space to follow the stay at home guidance. The familiarity of friends has been limited by the physical distancing rules.

People need help and support to adapt to living in new ways. Support is vital.

The Make Change Count campaign links local organisations which are experienced in supporting rough sleepers and preventing homelessness.

The participating organisations are: BHT, St Mungo’s, Sussex Nightstop, Equinox, Antifreeze, The Clock Tower Sanctuary, YMCA Downslink Group, Umbrella Brighton & Hove and YMCA Brighton.

These organisations, like many in the city, are currently working during the Coronavirus crisis to provide connections into services and help people meet their basic needs.

Teams are out on the frontline as well as providing essential support behind the scenes and gearing up for all that will need to be done when the pandemic is over. 

Through Make Change Count, you can help with this essential action by supporting the aims of the campaign which are to:

1. Help people who are rough sleeping to access support services available in the city and to move away from the streets for good

2. Encourage an alternative option to giving directly to individuals on the street. You can donate to Make Change Count online today.

3. Let Streetlink know if you see anyone in need living on the streets so tailored help can be offered

Alison Marino, executive director of Sussex Nightstop, explained why Make Change Count is important right now: “We need to make sure we do all we can so no one feels they have to return to the streets when the coronavirus crisis is over. Helping people away from rough sleeping takes time and compassion.

“At the same time, our organisations are anticipating a drop in fundraising because many of our events and activities have had to stop to prevent the spread of the virus.

“But the need for our services hasn’t gone away. We are also doing all we can to prepare for when we’ll be needed most when restrictions are lifted.”

Frances Duncan, CEO of The Clock Tower Sanctuary commented: “We know that our young people need our support more than ever during this crisis. We will re-open our day centre just as soon as it is safe to do so. The contribution of the Make Change Count campaign to our fundraising during this crisis is extremely welcome, as we are predicting to lose a third of our income this year.”

More information can be found on the Council’s website here.

Telephone: 01273 722 353

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