A campaigner has said more needs to be done to help save the lives of drug addicts and the homeless. The call comes after a homeless double amputee's life support was switched off after he collapsed from a suspected overdose aged 32.
Recovering drug addict Sonny Ray was just one of Brighton and Hove's hundreds of homeless faces. Every month between one and two people die opiate related deaths in Brighton and Hove and Sonny's death was just one of those too. But charity workers have said there are "no hopeless cases" and more needed to be done to support those who are vulnerable.
Before he died, Sonny had moved on from various temporary accommodation homes, hostels and hospitals for treatment relating to his legs, drugs problems, and mental health issues. He had been in contact with mental health services, housing departments and hospitals across Brighton and Worthing - but his family have told how he did not attend some appointments and could not understand the system. His grandmother Jennifer Tingay said: "I tried everything I could to help him but I think there should have been more help for him." Andy Winter, chief executive of Brighton Housing Trust, said: "I don't believe anyone is a lost cause.
"What everyone of us needs to be doing is doubling our efforts when there is a window of opportunity - and there always is a window of opportunity - to respond in a timely fashion and to help people get the support they need. Brighton and Hove is incredible lucky to have such a range of support services available. But people do struggle to understand the system and it is the practical reality of the way it works. It does take effort of all parties to do something that will be effective to that individual in dire circumstances."
A spokesman for Adur and Worthing councils said: "Mr Ray had made a homeless application to Adur District Council and was provided with interim accommodation, while his application was assessed. We also understand he was in contact with professional social and medical services. Due to data protection, we are unable to disclose any further or personal details." A spokesman for Brighton and Hove City Council said: “It’s a sad case. However, we cannot pre-empt any inquest, which we would expect to provide full details of the involvement of care agencies.
“We always do all we can within the law and our resources to help people but some have multiple, complex issues. We rely on their co-operation and engagement, which is not always forthcoming."
By Emily Walker - The Argus/June 3, 2016