Councillor visits First Base Day Centre
North Portslade councillor, Peter Atkinson, who sits on the Council’s Housing and New Homes committee, recently paid a visit to Brighton Housing Trust’s (BHT) First Base Day Centre.
The Day Centre is based at St Stephen’s Hall in Montpelier Place which recently celebrated its 250th anniversary having once been a ballroom and then a private chapel for Queen Victoria!
First Base offers a range of services to support people who are sleeping rough in the city to help them get off the streets and into permanent accommodation and work. The centre provides breakfasts, showers, clean and dry clothes, tea and coffee together with health related services such as dentistry, podiatry, mental and physical health support, optometry, sexual health and occupational therapy.
BHT helped 306 people end rough sleeping last year and 955 clients visited First Base and received a comprehensive, individual assessment from one of BHT’s caseworkers.
“I was immensely impressed by First Base” said Peter “I witnessed for myself, first hand, the huge amount of great work that Simon Hughes, the manager, and his staff are carrying out. There is a strict no alcohol and drugs rule and the emphasis is on engagement and mutual respect. Voluntary sector organisations such as BHT are in a really good position to reach people that the statutory sector often can’t”
Cllr Atkinson has only been in place for a year and was keen to learn more about homelessness and rough sleeping following the publication of the council’s Rough Sleeping strategy.
Photo shows Cllr Atkinson and manager, Simon Hughes