Monday, 21 April 2014

Banned from West Pier Project


I have incurred the displeasure of a homeless hostel in Brighton, from which I have been banned.

Brighton's mysterious West Pier, after which the hostel is named
West Pier Project, a Council ran temporary emergency housing establishment in the heart of the city centre, has, I am informed in person by the staff on the reception, barred me from entry, following their discovery of the above video which I filmed of a friend who lives in the hostel explaining living conditions and the astonishing rental fee charged by the West Pier Project for his living there.

I asked them whether it was illegal for me to film an interview with a friend in his room and they maintained that it was, so it looks like I'll need a lawyer. Having been told I was no longer welcome to visit my friend Daryl, who let's face it, doesn't receive many visitors as things stand, because I had basically exposed something the West Pier would rather not be brought to light (quite what that is, I was not told) I had time only to wish Daryl happy birthday and give him his birthday present, birthday card and a bit of cash for some tobacco.

Among those who wish people to be silenced in today's society are those who exploit the misery and destitution of the poor for personal gain, who extort from the poor exhorbitant housing benefit charges in rent in order to fill their pockets and live in luxury, since, I was told by a worker that the building is privately owned and we can therefore safely assume that the rental money of nearly £200 a week goes to the owner. They don't seem to do much to improve the building. Only a week or two ago another man I know there tried to open a window and had to go to hospital because a window pane fell out and sliced his hand open. The staff kindly paid for a taxi, but you should have seen the guy's hand. It was a total mess. I told him he should sue.

I asked the staff member who the owner of the property was, but was not given a name. The team member denied knowledge of such information. Perhaps the staff do not know who owns the property. You can bet Brighton and Hove City Council, however, do!

Pope Francis calls us to serve the poor and to highlight and expose the injustices that take place in their regard.

Just for the record, here is another picture I took of the inside of West Pier Project. I know this is a general sign that warns that there is some dangerously strong heroin 'out there' in big, bad Brighton, but for an establishment that serves its residents a needle exchange service and whose residents number many a heroin addict, perhaps telling everyone that there is some 'seriously strong s**t' available in Brighton, and telling them what colour and texture it takes, maybe isn't that great an idea?

After all, they all know the next hit could kill them, but many of them are just out for the best hit they can get.

6 comments:

  1. There is nothing illegal in filming a friend in his home and publishing it with his permission, per se. Had he an agreement with the landlord not to have any other person in his room??

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  2. No. i believe there was no such agreement.

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  3. I know some people who live and who work here. The residents may often have problems with substance abuse and or mental health issues. The workers run up and down the stairs taking phone calls and messages, they even take the residents shopping for clothes. WPP is a lot more than accommodation. Included in the rent is use of the phone, parents may call their children and the workers run up and down the stairs to give messages and for the person to call their caller back. Each resident has a special worker assigned to them. The workers ensure the residents take their medication and keep the residents out of as much harms way as they are able to.
    I would like there to be detox units for people with substance abuse but I also know that many have debilitating interior pain and that substances are their way of easing it.

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  4. It is absolutely true that everyone has care workers and that the staff are there for the residents, they counsel them and befriend them and take them shopping for clothes. The staff also help the residents with their food and cooking. It really is a lot more than a room in a building.
    The money spent here is well worth it. From a Parent of an adult living there who is addicted to illegal highs and alcohol, a parent whose son WILL be cured. Thank you for taking care of my son in the mean time WPP!

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  5. Rent in more like 400 weekly for the /the vulnerable people here

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  6. A shameless piece of filming. The no filming would have been due to data protection issues and safeguarding, thank goodness that policies are in place to protect the vulnerable. As someone who has worked extensively in homeless projects for many years I was horrified to see this. The resident was clearly shaking for some reason yet the questioning continued. Unless you have worked or lived in this environment you will not understand why safety notices are put up regarding street drugs- not everybody is looking for their next big hit- mr filmmaker!!!

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