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Homeless charity needs help to fund women-only bus shelter

The bus shelter is was used to home 300 people in the city over the last year Photo: ITV Meridan

A homeless charity in Brighton is appealing to the public to help them to transform a bus into a women-only shelter.

Sussex Homeless Support needs votes in the Aviva Community Awards. If they will, they will secure £10,000 of funding, which will go towards the refuge bus.

The SHS charity, staffed entirely by volunteers, provided many nights of shelter last winter in a converted double-decker bus on the seafront.

Almost 300 people slept on the bus and had a hot meal at different points over the coldest months of 2017 and early 2018. Roughly 30 of those were women.

One of the SHS's priorities this winter is to kit out an out-of-service bus to provide beds, warmth and shelter to women experiencing homelessness.

Inside the bus shelter Credit: ITV Meridian

"Homeless levels are increasing in Brighton and Hove, but the support is decreasing.

"Alarmingly, there are more and more attacks on homeless people living on the streets and the bus will ensure there are fewer people on the streets.

"This would be an exclusively women's only bus to provide safety and refuge.

"Roughly 30 of the people who used the bus last winter were women. It is essential that vulnerable women have a safe haven; women's only space away from the streets."

"It is not uncommon for women who are homeless or vulnerably housed to be sexually abused, raped and manipulated into providing sex in order to survive."

– Jim Deans, runs the charity

Homelessness in England has more than doubled since 2010, with Brighton experiencing the highest increases across the UK in recent years.

You can vote for the SHS Women's Night Shelter here.

If you are interested in volunteering for the project, email: info@sussexhomelesssupport.co.uk