A bed for every homeless person in the West Midlands this winter

Local authorities in the West Midlands will provide all homeless people with a place to stay in the form of a shelter, hostel or emergency accommodation during this winter period. 

Last winter, 78 people died across the UK whilst sleeping rough, therefore helping those in need during times of severe weather has become a matter of urgency and a moral obligation.

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), the Homelessness Task Force and partners in the public, private and voluntary sectors have come together to provide accommodation to all rough sleepers.

The commitment covers everyone, including pet owners, couples, those who have no resource to public funds, people who have previously been banned from support services, those with no local connection and people with complex needs.

For individuals who need to travel to get to their provided accommodation, or to access the support that they need, free bus services will be available.

Citizens in the West Midlands will also be able to alert local authorities to rough sleepers by contacting StreetLink, each council will then use its own resources to help each individual.

Julie Griffin, housing director at Birmingham City Council said: ‘Winter is a hugely important time when it comes to supporting people who are sleeping rough on our city’s streets.

‘With the near-freezing temperatures bringing people indoors, it provides us with additional time to really engage with people indoors, in a stable environment, to be able to make repeat offers of support for health, housing and their general wellbeing.

‘We ensure that in Birmingham there is more than enough emergency accommodation for everybody.’

WMCA chief executive Deborah Cadman said: ‘This plan sets out our joint commitment to keep the most vulnerable people safe during the winter and to make every effort to engage individuals with appropriate services to help them move away from sleeping on the streets for good.

‘We know that conditions during the winter that present the greatest risk to the health of people who sleep rough are low temperatures, strong winds, heavy rain and snow.

‘We will do everything we can to ensure that there is a route off the streets for every single person who finds themselves there during severe weather.’

In related news, with one in every seven residents classed as homeless in Croydon, the council has launched a 24-hour, 365-day homeless assessment hub which will open this week (December 9).

Photo Credit – Pixabay






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