Counting the Empty Buildings and Homeless People of Brighton and Hove

SchemesAndDreams
After livestreaming with Love Activists Brighton at the Housing and New Homes Committee meeting, I finally got around to filming a few of Brighton’s empty buildings, from halfway down North St to the top of St James St.

There were 16 visibly empty buildings in that short route – some long time derelict, some being refurbished.

Empty Buildings of Brighton 2-3-16

I’ve been meaning to do this for ages, as it’s so blatant and deplorable a juxtaposition, when so many people are sleeping in the doorways of shops which have been covered in steel.

The people who are responsible for these spaces actually employ round the clock private security to protect their investments from people desperately in need of shelter.

This investment could be transferred to a homeless person as a 24-7 live-in property guardian, with a mutually vested interest in maintaining and improving the property, rather than protecting it while it rots and people die in their doorways.

Needless to say, there were also several people bedding down for a night sleeping rough in shop doorways and/or begging and/or in need of medical assistance from our massively overburdened, undervalued and underfunded NHS.

The Plan

I’m going to start doing this more routinely on my travels around Brighton, to build a more credible, alternative street count of both people on the streets and of the empty properties they could be sheltering in.

I’m thinking the resulting data would be useful for;

  • Forwarding real time streetcounts to Love Activist, Opsafe and other autonomous crews/individuals for practical assistance.
  • Lobbying and awareness raising for the public and the local authorities.
  • Producing a short info-mentury? Perhaps as regular weekly or monthly reports?

Budget/Support

I can get started on foot with zero budget except phone charge + internetz, but it might be good to use public transport to cover the ground. I’m flat broke (as ever) and would need some help getting the budget together for this – or if someone reading this buys a day saver ticket and is done with it by early evening and is up for sharing – that would work too…

If you’re able to fund me on this venture, that’d be awesome. A saver ticket costs just under a fiver.

Similarly if you have a phone with video capturing and you want to help co-ordinate on covering the ground, any and all assistance would be greatly appreciated as would any feedback on this scheme.

 

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