Homeless people in Brighton are to live in an empty Jewish care home on the south coast over winter after its Jewish charitable owner struck a deal with homelessness charity St. Mungo’s.
Hyman Fine House, just yards from the beach, is being sold by Jewish Care, but delays – and a timely approach from St. Mungo’s – mean that it is being temporarily repurposed to address high levels of homelessness in Brighton and Hove.
The agreement follows discussion that involved the Sussex Jewish Representative Council (SJRC) and the Brighton and Hove Jewish Welfare Board. The rental income from the short-term leasing of the building will benefit the local Jewish community.
Jewish Care chief executive Daniel Carmel-Brown said his team was “proud” to be working with St Mungo’s and the local Jewish community to help get the region’s homeless people off the streets and into shelter over winter.
In a joint statement, the Sussex Jewish Representative Council and the Welfare Board said: “We are pleased that Hyman Fine House will not be left empty during the winter and that, in keeping with the Jewish tradition of charity and outreach, it will be used for shelter for those in need in our city.
“We continue to plan additional support and services for those older people in our community with the assistance of Jewish Care. The rental income will be added to the funds available for our communal use for the benefit of the elderly.”
The home has lain empty since July of this year, but its sale has now been delayed into 2023, with Jewish Care citing “the uncertainty of the current economic climate and some legal processes to resolve around the building and the Trust under which it is held”.
It argued that keeping Hyman Fine House vacant for months over winter “would not be responsible in terms of protecting the security of the building”, adding that the home’s synagogue would remain locked and inaccessible to St Mungo’s.
Rabbi Pesach Efune in Brighton, the home’s registered manager Natasha Carson, and members of the community have safely removed all religious and sentimental items from the property and either reunited them with the gifting families or else secured them off-site “until they find new homes”.
St. Mungo’s said Hyman Fine House will be used for their ‘No Second Night Out’ programme, which aims to limit the amount of time people have to spend sleeping on the streets.
It is a rapid assessment and reconnection service, providing people with food, accommodation, and personalised support while a longer-term home is found.
“We are really grateful to Jewish Care and the Sussex Jewish Representative Council for the opportunity to temporarily use the building, so we can operate this vital service,” said St Mungo’s regional head, Rahul Sen.
“It means we can ensure people have a safe and warm place to stay and receive specialised support, instead of being on the streets. We are looking forward to working together and being the best neighbours that we can be to the local community.”
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.