Update on the use of Hyman Fine House

02 Nov 2022

Following continued conversations between Jewish Care, the Sussex Jewish Representative Council (SJRC) and the Brighton and Hove Jewish Welfare Board on further developments on Jewish Care’s Hyman Fine House, Jewish Care have been approached by national homelessness prevention charity, St Mungo’s about short term use of the building.

With the uncertainty of the current economic climate and some legal processes to resolve around the building and the Trust under which it is held, we envisage that Hyman Fine House will not be put up for sale until sometime in 2023. The plan is that the net proceeds from the sale will be returned to the Brighton and Hove Jewish community for the benefit of older people in the community and to provide additional support for them.

Having a building such as Hyman Fine House remaining empty for a significant period of time would not be responsible in terms of protecting the security of the building. In addition, Jewish Care have been approached by leading homelessness charity, St Mungo’s about short term use of the building.

This will be for their ‘No Second Night Out’ service which aims to limit the amount of time anyone has to spend sleeping on the streets. No Second Night Out is a rapid assessment and reconnection service, which provides people with food, accommodation and personalised support while their longer-term accommodation options are found. With winter coming and the high levels of homelessness in Brighton, this will provide much needed shelter and security to vulnerable people.

The income from the rental of the home by St Mungo’s will go directly into supporting services for the local older Jewish Brighton & Hove community whilst ensuring that the building does not sit vacant and at risk.

We anticipate St Mungo’s will start to move into the building from mid-November. We know how important this building has been to the community over the years, and we have taken every measure to ensure that St Mungo’s maintains the property in a good state of repair, which they will be fully accountable and responsible for, along with the security of the building and site. The home’s Synagogue will be locked at all times and not accessible to St Mungo’s. The plan to use the building for this purpose has also been supported by Brighton & Hove City Council.

Since announcing the home’s closure in July 2022, all the Hyman Fine House residents have now found alternative accommodation at new care homes. Consultations with all the home’s staff have been completed, and the building is now being safely secured, packed up and is closed. Rabbi Efune in Brighton along with members of the local community, Jewish Care, and the home’s Registered Manager, Natasha Carson, have been working hard to ensure that all religious items and those that are of sentimental value to the community including artwork and plaques, are being safely removed from the site. They have either been reunited with the family who gifted them or are being securely held until they are found new homes in the local Brighton & Hove community.

We recognise and acknowledge that the closure of Hyman Fine House has been a very challenging time for the local Jewish community. The home was part of the community not just for the residents and their families. Jewish Care is committed to prioritising the continued work with SJRC, the Welfare Board and Helping Hands to listen to what the community requires in order to best support the older people in the Brighton and Hove Jewish community. We will continue to meet regularly to ensure that the support the community wants is provided.

Chief Executive at Jewish Care, Daniel Carmel-Brown said:
“We are proud to be working with the Sussex Jewish Representative Council, the Welfare Board and St Mungo’s to provide short term support, with winter approaching, to those sleeping rough in the Brighton & Hove community, whilst ensuring the income generated from the vacant building will help fund services for the older Jewish local community in partnership with SJRC.”

 Sussex Jewish Representative Council and Welfare Board said:
We are pleased that Hyman Fine House will not be left empty during the winter and that, in keeping with 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.  And the income from the rental to St Mungo’s will be added to the funds available for our communal use for the benefit of the elderly.’

 St Mungo’s Regional Head, Rahul Sen said:
“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. 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 we can be to the local community.”