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There are more people who don’t have a home to call their own in Brighton than in almost any other city in the UK apart from London.

There’s already an active response to this terrible situation. There are numerous organisations – public health and social care services, charities and social enterprises – who are putting their minds and hearts into the challenge of changing things for the better.

The need for a homeless hub in Brighton

At Arch Health CIC, we’re lobbying hard for the creation of a homeless healthcare hub. This would mean that we can ensure that the wide range of support that homeless people need to start their journey back into housing and the rest of their lives are available under one roof. We believe it could be transformative for people in our city.

Despite this, in 2017, 17 homeless people died in the city, with an average age of 46. The majority of these deaths were avoidable. Our team at Morley Street Surgery know this better than most. We offer primary care to people who are homeless and vulnerably housed and we are seeing the hard reality of the impact on people’s health when they are unfortunate enough to become homeless.

The value of kindness

We have a vision to explore every opportunity to improve the health and wellbeing of homeless and vulnerable people. While we’re pursuing this vision, our values are our compass and guide to how we behave on the journey:

  • Equality and fairness
  • Collaboration and community
  • Excellence and curiosity
  • Honesty and integrity
  • Kindness and humanity

For me, perhaps the most important of these values is kindness. I believe that above all else, the people in Brighton who now find themselves without a permanent roof over their heads deserve this from us. Homelessness isn’t who a person is – it’s a devastating situation that can happen to anyone. Meeting a person who is in that situation with kindness is the least we can do.

Gary Bishop is Chief Executive at Arch Health CIC – the non-profit organisation that runs Morley Street Surgery in Brighton

Conversation notes

  • 1 min 07 secs: Introduction to Gary and how he came to be CEO of Arch CIC
  • 1 min 47 secs: How Brighton came to have a GP surgery serving homeless people
  • 3 mins 42 secs: Arch’s role in assisting other surgeries and partners in Brighton to support the vulnerably housed
  • 4 mins 30 secs: Homelessness in Brighton – the current situation
  • 5 mins 26 secs: What does “Arch” stand for? Accessible, restorative, community, health
  • 7 mins 20 secs: The importance of community health services
  • 8 mins 30 secs: Current challenges for the team at Arch
  • 10 mins 30 secs: What has drawn Gary to this work? His personal experiences and understanding of homelessness
  • 13 mins 40 secs: Why Arch has a vision and values underpinning its work
  • 15 mins 30 secs: Why values are just as important as a vision
  • 18 mins 05 secs: How the team at Arch decided what values they want to hold true to – the personal journey
  • 19 mins 05 secs: So what are the values exactly? What do they mean?
  • 23 mins 50 secs: The importance of kindness as a value
  • 27 mins 00 secs: What pathways are patients taking through the care offered by Arch and their partners in Brighton?
  • 29 mins 27 secs: The ambition to see people move into the next phase of their life beyond homelessness
  • 30 mins 45 secs: The need to care for the most vulnerable in our community – and how Arch will know that things are improving
  • 32 mins 57 secs: The vision for a homeless healthcare hub in Brighton

tagged in Podcast, purpose, Start-Up Fund, what inspires us

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