Our priorities are responsive repairs, night security, caretaking, and the Housing Options service.
Homelessness support is a priority area for the council and so where capacity issues arise in homeless centres, we will be looking to divert staff from non-essential services across housing and the wider council to support this service.
We will be providing food parcels and daily checks to those self-isolating in temporary accommodation and B&Bs. We are also in contact with the schools to see how we can better support families in temporary accommodation at this time.
We are now providing the service for our Housing Options Centre in a different way. The centre will be closed to the public and moving to a telephone service. Additional capacity has been added to our phonelines to ensure everyone who needs help gets the support they need.
However, we are asking that if you have got somewhere safe to stay, please remain where you are. If you need advice or if you are about to become homeless, please call 0121 675 5779 and support will be available to you by phone.
Over the course of the last few weeks, we’ve been seeing a rise in domestic abuse cases.
The Domestic Abuse Hub, commissioned by us and run by Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid, is open for women at risk of being made homeless as a result of domestic abuse, which can also be accessed through a telephone service on 0808 169 9604. Anyone suffering from domestic abuse can also contact their helpline on 0808 800 0028 as help and support is available and will remain so. For out of hours support, call Women’s Aid national 24-hour helpline on 0808 200 0247.
The Youth Hub run by St Basil’s is still operational on a limited and emergency basis.
Across the city we have seen capacity and support for rough sleepers and the homeless come under pressure as shelters and other providers are affected by Coronavirus and the need for employees to self-isolate. Fortunately, we have been able to secure 200 bed spaces for our most vulnerable to self-isolate. Holiday Inn has stepped forward to provide a proactive solution and will provide a dedicated section of the hotel where some of these individuals can be accommodated safely with no risk to their staff and other guests staying that the property.
The hotel will also be providing meals - this is making a huge difference and we would like to thank them for their support and for working collaboratively with us during this moment of uncertainty.
If you are concerned about someone sleeping rough, please tell Street Link. Our commissioned provider, Trident Reach, has capacity to provide accommodation to any rough sleeper who needs it. Alongside finding bed spaces, we can also arrange transport to get them to the right place. This also applies to those with no recourse to public funding.
While SIFA Fireside has now temporarily closed, they continue to provide limited support services to rough sleepers and are working closely with BCC and other organisations like BVSC, who are coordinating our response with volunteers and community groups.