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Summit to tackle homeless crisis in Brighton

Brighton's homeless crisis has reached unprecedented levels, according to a new report by the city's housing Trust.

Over the past year almost 600 people have been reported sleeping rough in the city - many on the streets, some in makeshift tents, others in upturned boats, even in bins.

Now the newly elected council has announced a summit to discuss the issue - while the Trust itself has called for ambitious new measures to confront the crisis. Andy Dickenson reports.

Homeless man jailed for life for murdering friend

A homeless man who brutally murdered a friend in a church porch after a drinking session was today jailed for life.

Ruslan Piktorov - who must serve a minimum 18 years of his sentence - launched the savage attack on 57-year-old Trevor Hillman in Headcorn last October.

He was sentenced today after changing his plea to guilty.

From Maidstone Crown Court, Derek Johnson reports.

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Homeless charity 'comes of age'

A unique charity set up to tackle homelessness came of age today. Emmaus, at Portslade in Sussex, is celebrating 18 years of helping people sleeping rough to get their lives back on track. The project provides somewhere to stay in return for work ..... a combination which has proved so successful that branches have opened across the country, including Kent. Malcolm Shaw reports.

Help for people sleeping rough this Christmas

The Borough of Poole is urging anyone concerned about people sleeping rough to contact the national initiative Streetlink.

The council says: "Please call Streetlink on 0300 5000 914. This ensures that the council can offer services to people who might need them.

"As well as the Streetlink hotline number, people can also download the smartphone app or use the ‘Report It’ function on boroughofpoole.com to report their concerns for a rough sleeper.

"Anyone can become homeless, and sleeping rough can be dangerous and damaging to health. The longer someone sleeps rough, the greater the risk that they will become trapped on the streets and vulnerable to becoming a victim of crime, developing drug or alcohol problems, or experiencing problems with their health."

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Neighbours 'share the warmth' with the homeless

The donated winter coats will be used by the homeless Credit: ITV Meridiian

Neighbours Jenny Barrett and Gaynor Williams have launched a pop-up campaign to help the homeless this Christmas. The two women from Hove have been asking Sussex residents to dig out their unused winter coats and jackets to help keep people living on the streets a little bit warmer this winter.

The super-quick campaign called Share the Warmth (Brighton and Hove Coat Collection) aims to capture Christmas goodwill for the cause and already has the support of the Big Beach Cafe and other local business people.

Gaynor, a freelance marketing consultant, said: 'We decided we'd need to get cracking as soon as possible and we've contacted as many people as we can. We've had lots of support already. Now we need people to look in their wardrobes and donate as many coats as they can.'

Coats, jackets and warm clothing can be dropped off at collections points in Brighton and Hove: Portslade Learning Centre, Big Beach Cafe, Drury Cafe, Tree of Life Centre, Walk in Wardrobe, Gelato Gusto, Honeycomb Cakes, Eaton Place Surgery and Langtons Hair and Beauty.

There will also be a collection at Brighton Railway Station on 19 December and at the Amex Stadium on 21 December.

A place to call home...

Earlier this month, ITV News revealed that Brighton and Hove's homelessness problem had risen by a shocking 35 per cent in two years.

Today a significant step was taken to address the problem as more than 30 homeless people began moving into a development made out of old shipping containers which have been converted in to studio flats.

Charlotte Wilkins speaks to Richard, who's just moved in; Andy Winter from Brighton Housing Trust and Councillor Bill Randall, who's Chair of Housing at Brighton and Hove City Council.

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