Cold weather and sleeping rough on the streets
Cllr Sharon Thompson, Cabinet member for Homelessness, Vulnerable Children and Families, talks about helping people who sleep rough on the streets in cold weather this winter.
With the temperatures dropping, it is important to remind people of the support available from Birmingham City Council for those sleeping rough and also anyone facing homelessness.
Birmingham City Council is encouraged by progress in recent years that has seen a marked reduction in the number of people sleeping rough in Birmingham. Single night figures for official counts show a reduction from 91 people bedded down in a single night in 2018; 52 in 2019, and 17 in 2020 and that reduction has largely been maintained through 2021.
There are outreach workers commissioned by the city council, working on the streets to help people sleeping rough, 7 days a week, both day and night, this includes an accommodation offer for all, substance misuse workers, health workers, and youth workers. If you are concerned about someone who may be sleeping rough please notify the team through https://www.streetlink.org.uk/ the outreach team follow up on every notification. We can further assure the public that when temperatures hit freezing we activate the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) redoubling efforts to encourage anyone remaining on the streets to come into accommodation.’
Anyone at risk should seek support to prevent them becoming homelessness. Birmingham City Council provides a number of routes for this, including our partnerships with organisations such as Trident Reach, Sifa-Fireside, Birmingham & Solihull Women’s Aid, St Basil’s and Spring Housing.
Councillor Thompson added ‘We know that many people want to help a person who is homelessness. A great way to do that is through supporting Change Into Action, which we believe is a better way to financially help someone who is sleeping rough rather than giving money directly to someone begging on the street. All funds given go directly to help homeless individuals supported by our partner agencies.’