If you have passed the Clock Tower recently, you may have noticed a collection of photos, jars, candles and signs sitting at the bottom of it. On closer inspection you may have noticed one of the larger signs says ‘#NoMoreDeathsOnOurStreets’. This is a makeshift memorial created by Love Activists Brighton, to remember those homeless who have died on the streets of Brighton.
Love Activists Brighton is an offshoot of the Love Activist group in London. The memorial was created last Saturday with those attending lighting candles in memory of those who have died on the streets of Brighton. The vigil was in response to the three deaths over the festive period. One man called Casey died after a suspected legal high overdose, a woman named Caroline died just before Christmas and Lesley ‘Gareth’ Raymond, the man who sold the Big Issue outside Waitrose in Western Road, died New Year’s Day after sleeping rough caught up with him. Last summer, Casey emptied his pockets for the families of the victims of the Shoreham Airshow Disaster. Jason Roberts, operations manager at Grace’s lap dancing club in Brighton told The Argus “One of the doorman’s friends was one of the victims of the Shoreham Airshow disaster, and Kevin (Casey) saw the bucket and put all his money in it”.
It is no secret that the homelessness problem in Brighton is out of control, and Former Mayor of Brighton and Hove Bill Randall has said “There’s not enough social housing and private rental rates are out of control…in my view, homelessness and housing is the single biggest problem facing our city today”. Love Activists Brighton have come up with solution based proposals to end homelessness in Brighton and have started a petition to force the council to debate the proposals at a full council meeting. You can find out more about Love Activists through their Facebook and Twitter pages and you can find out about the petition right here. Next time you pass the clock tower, spare a thought for those who have lost their lives on the streets of Brighton.