Calls for more support for homeless women

Annie stands in front of art work wearing gold earrings, red lipstick, a black and white T-shirt with a cat on it
Annie fell into homelessness five years ago after struggling to find work

A charity has called for more support for women experiencing homelessness and said there is a shortage of suitable accommodation.

The Brighton Women's Service, which runs a female-only residential project, said women face aggression on the streets and are often labelled as sex workers or drug users.

A 2023 government report found 464 women were sleeping rough in England on a single night, although the true number was likely to be much higher.

Annie, who experienced homelessness five years ago, said that as a rough sleeper "you're persecuted, you're demonised".

"People have a degree of sympathy for a homeless man, but for a homeless woman, there is no sympathy," she said.

Only 10% of homelessness support services provide female-only accommodation, according to a report by Centrepoint.

Janie Pamment, service manager at The Brighton Women's Service, said the centre aims to "reconnect the women that we work with back to the community, but also the community back to the women".

Keira, another woman who has experienced homelessness, said the space provided care and help compared to standard emergency accommodation.

She said: "When you're in an emergency, you're just kind of thrown to the side.

"You're not a human being - you're a number."

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