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In 2022, the heart-wrenching news of 43 homeless individuals’ demise shook Brighton and Hove. The victims, who succumbed to drug and alcohol abuse, cancer, suicide, and other causes, surpassed the previous year’s fatality count of 31. The shocking figures were compiled by the Museum of Homelessness, a group committed to supporting the homeless, which verified each death through a coroner’s report, Freedom of Information request, charity, or family member.


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The Forgotten 43

The bereaved families of the deceased are mourning their loved ones’ tragic fate, with many of their identities still unknown. Sadly, Brighton and Hove currently have the second-highest death rate among the UK’s homeless population, only surpassed by Belfast. The number of homeless deaths in this region is considerably more significant than the fatalities reported in Manchester, Glasgow, and London.

Causes of Death

The death causes of the 43 individuals paint a somber picture of their lives on the streets. Alcohol or drug abuse claimed nine lives, cancer took four, three fell prey to a heart condition, two to infection, one to overdose, one to stroke, and one to suicide. The reasons behind the remaining deaths remain unknown.

Contributing Factors

The surge in homeless deaths has ignited concerns among activists, who are calling for immediate intervention to stem the tide. Jim Deans, a former rough sleeper and the head of Sussex Homeless Support, attributes the deaths’ upswing to the council’s approach to housing people in hostels. According to him, drug dealers flock to the hostels, where they prey on the homeless and offer drugs. He also claims that former inmates are dumped onto the streets without adequate support, further exacerbating the crisis.

The Council’s Response

The Museum of Homelessness’ findings were presented to the Brighton and Hove City Council, which refuted the figures, denying knowledge of the sources and verification process. While acknowledging the housing and homelessness crisis, the council spokesperson cited factors such as an inflated housing market, the lack of affordable housing, and widening income disparities. The council claimed that it was taking all necessary measures, including constructing new affordable homes and repurchasing former council homes. Moreover, the council asserts that it has halved the number of people sleeping on the streets since 2019.


The 43 homeless deaths in Brighton and Hove are a glaring reminder of the urgent need to address the issue comprehensively. While the council’s efforts are commendable, it must go above and beyond to prevent further loss of life. The Brighton and Hove City Council must work closely with activists and campaigners to identify the root causes of the crisis and come up with lasting solutions. The time to act is now.

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Hi I'm Oliver Smith, I would say that I take great pride in my work as a journalist and strive to produce high-quality, impactful stories that make a difference. With more than eight years of experience under my belt, I am passionate about uncovering the truth and shining a light on issues that matter.


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