ROUGH sleepers who are facing the harsh winter weather and ongoing challenges caused by the pandemic are being offered a helping hand.
The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), the Homelessness Taskforce, and partners from the public, private and voluntary sectors, have set out a joint winter plan with the aim of protecting people sleeping rough across the region.
As part of the plan, the partners will work together to identify local solutions to ensure that individuals are helped to move away from sleeping on the streets for good.
Councillor Alison Rolf, Solihull Council cabinet member for stronger and safer communities, said: “In Solihull there are usually between two and six people who regularly sleep rough and our outreach team works hard to reduce this by checking the streets and supporting people to make the move off the streets and into accommodation.
“We’ve also prevented 242 households from becoming homeless this year and helped 731 people into long term housing.
“Our message is – nobody needs to sleep rough.
“People can help us by reporting anyone they think is sleeping rough via StreetLink, the national reporting system. You can also help provide additional support by donating to Change into Action Solihull.”
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said “During the Covid-19 pandemic, we have consistently looked to reduce the number of people sleeping rough and ensure everyone in the West Midlands has a safe, secure, and warm place to stay.
“However, we know it is important to ramp up our efforts in winter as there are increased risks associated with sleeping rough during the colder months.
“Tireless efforts by our region’s local authorities and partners in the private, public, and voluntary sectors mean we can continue to address the pressing issue of homelessness and help those people who need it the most.”
For more information or to contact StreetLink, visit https://www.streetlink.org.uk/ or call 0300 500 0914