Raising awareness of services to support homeless in Birmingham
Agencies working with homeless people in Birmingham came together to raise awareness of the support available – and how members of the public can best help.
Organisations including Midland Heart’s outreach team, Birmingham City Council, St Basil’s, British Transport Police, West Midlands Police, Shelter and CGL supported a stand on Corporation Street in the city centre.
Amanda Nicklin, Homeless Services Manager for Midland Heart, said: “We had quite a lot of interest from members of the public and were able to explain how different services, provided by different agencies, link into each other and how we all work in partnership to provide the best possible support for each individual person.
“For instance some homeless people can’t think about accessing accommodation until they have had help with their substance misuse; for others they need settled accommodation before they want to address their substance misuse.
“We also wanted to improve public understanding of the issues around homelessness, rough sleeping and begging as not every person begging is a rough sleeper; they may have accommodation.
“People visiting the stand were particularly interested in finding out that they can alert support services to a rough sleeper they are concerned about via StreetLink and why it is important to only report an individual seen to be bedded down, rather than someone seen begging.”
The day also promoted Change Into Action which encourages members of the public to donate to charities supporting the homeless rather than give money direct to people on the street.
Charities will spend the donation on services that support individuals to get off the street, such as paying for a birth certificate so that they have ID which helps them to then claim benefits and access services, or on providing items for when they have a property, to make it feel homely and somewhere they want to stay.
StreetLink exists to help end rough sleeping by enabling the public to connect rough sleepers with the local services that can support them. To notify StreetLink of a rough sleeper go to the website:
You will need to provide details such as the specific location and time the rough sleeper was seen there, plus any information that will help support services identify the individual such as clothing, appearance and approximate age.
For more information on local services and support for homeless men and women go to Birmingham City Council's website