Equinox Brighton were appointed in the summer 2014, and started work in October 2014, as the provider of a new Brighton service targeting people with multiple and complex needs. This followed a competitive [...]
Equinox Brighton senior business and partnerships manager, Jesse Wilde: “The Equinox Brighton Hostel Link Team worked with 52 multiple and complex needs clients in 4 hostel settings throughout 2014. [...]
Neil, Equinox Brighton: “I was living in a hostel in Brighton. I’d gone there a few days after my wife died in 2013. I’d been drinking a lot leading up to that point. Then something changed and even [...]
“I’m Harvey Webb. I’m a housing support worker for Equinox Care, running the Stanley Road project in Brighton. It’s a 5 bed house for men with a history of homelessness and alcohol misuse. They stay here for 2 years and I help them to stabilise their alcohol use and then work to move on to independent living.
“We had a good outcome last year where one of my residents found a little studio flat in Hove in the private rented sector, which is very difficult in Brighton due to nobody wanting to take people on Housing Benefit. But I’ve made a few contacts in that area. He’s very happy – of course I give some aftercare – he’s very happy and settled there near his family.
“The rest of the residents are all in voluntary work, as well. They are positively contributing, which means they get a positive contribution status on Brighton’s home move scheme and then they can start to bid on affordable housing in the city. I help them tactically bid, so that the process is quicker than if they were doing it on their own.
“I’ve got 2 clients who are now working at the Woodstore, voluntary work. I’ve got another one who is working for the Brighton Food Partnership, up on the allotment up in Whitehawk. They all love it. I’ve got a fourth who is volunteering in the PDSA charity shop.
“One of the clients who’s actually gained positive contribution (he’s been bidding on properties for six months) recently viewed his first property in Hangleton. He’s nearing the top of the list, so he should be moving on pretty soon, which goes to show that it does work. It always motivates people in the house if somebody gets housed – so they think, ‘yeah this works, I can get myself a flat, I can get myself somewhere to live.’ Everybody now is working towards that end.
“We’ve been trying to create a culture of motivation, where people can see a way out of the cycle of homelessness and alcohol misuse. I’m very happy with what’s been happening over the last year.”
Wayne, Equinox Brighton: “I came to Equinox Brighton in June 2013. My marriage had broken up and where I was living in emergency housing, there were loads of people using drugs. I ended up sleeping in the park because I couldn’t take where I was living. “The rough sleepers team found me sleeping out and […]
Equinox Brighton senior business and partnerships manager, Jesse Wilde: “Equinox Brighton aims to reduce street presence, sustain tenancies and reduce harm caused by alcohol or drug dependency. [...]
“Equinox Brighton got me out of the car park, off the brandy. They found me somewhere to live and helped me get a passport. They’re pleasant people at Equinox, very tolerant.
“Having somewhere to live is fundamental. If you’re tough enough you can deal with being homeless, but having a place to live makes a vast difference to the way I feel mentally. Just knowing I can walk away from whatever crap is going on, I can go home rather than having to sleep in a doorway – it’s so important. The key to the door is the most important thing of all.
“I’ve now accepted support. I’ve not met a member of staff at Equinox who I’ve fallen out with. I keep all my appointments with staff. My keyworker, Heather, gives me the human touch, which keeps me coming back. The whole bunch of them at Equinox Brighton, they give me their time. I’m definitely calmer than I used to be. I am seeking medical advice and I’m following through on the advice I get.
“I’ve played the piano since I was 10. It’s not talent, it’s hard work. I improvise songs. I play the piano in the YMCA about once a week and occasionally I join in with the YMCA band. I have to tell them all what to do there, I conduct. I’m like Andre bloody Previn!”