Sussex Homeless Support
"People are homeless for many reasons, drug or alcohol abuse, divorce, mental health issues, money problems, scarcity of accommodation, but our aim is to get them back on track and part of society again." - Founder, Jim Deans.
Sussex Homeless Support (SHS) is a volunteer-led, Brighton-based charity providing accommodation, advice and outreach to people affected by the housing crisis in Sussex. The charity is at the forefront of actively supporting the street homeless, but also heavily involved in advocacy for changing laws affecting the causes of homelessness.
To alleviate the lack of shelter in the area, SHS converted a No.3 orange double decker bus into a mobile hostel and is currently converting a second bus into a safe shelter for homeless women. Combined, the two buses will sleep 24 people each night throughout the winter months, and welcome dogs onboard too!
Jim Deans, Founder and General Manager, explained:
"Our research and experience tell us that if someone is homeless, getting them off the street as soon as possible is paramount. Therefore, the concept of the Red Bus helps hugely with the first step in helping in their short-term problem; it also gives us time to build a relationship and find them a longer-term solution."
Sussex Homeless Support and In Kind Direct
“In Kind Direct is just a blessing for us for quality products that we would not usually be able to afford. When you are dealing with building up someone’s life, who might be homeless or suffering a housing crisis, we find that quality is important” says Jim Deans.
SHS has been working with In Kind Direct since 2018, receiving ambient food and toiletries to give to people experiencing homelessness, as well as a wide range of kitchenware and cleaning products to keep up their bus and day centre. The centre runs a washing machine and shower facility for anyone in need.
“You can imagine how much toothpaste, toilet rolls, shampoo, razors and washing powder we get through. Sourcing all these through In Kind Direct saves us huge amounts of money and allows us to fund many other projects, such as our Foodbank and hot meals for those on the street.”
“Building a person’s self-esteem is key to getting a person off the street. A pair of adidas football boots made all the difference to one of our young men who was on the street because of mental health issues. With each visit we got to know him better and heard of his passion for football. When we presented them to him he was overwhelmed. He went from being homeless to becoming one of our volunteers and is now settled back in the community in a stable relationship. What a difference a small but appropriate item can make to someone’s life, thanks to In Kind Direct.”