19th Jan, 2022

United effort to help rough sleepers across the West Midlands this festive season

Ross Crawford 12th Dec, 2020

THE region’s local authorities have come together to announce their joint winter plan for those at risk of rough sleeping.

In collaboration with the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), the Homelessness Taskforce, and partners from the public, private and voluntary sectors, a joint winter plan to help keep rough sleepers safe has been drawn up.

It aims to keeping the most vulnerable people safe during winter to ensure no one dies on the region’s streets during severe weather.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands said: “During the Covid-19 pandemic we have been able to make a significant impact to reduce the number of people sleeping rough.

“But as we enter the cold winter months, there can be no let-up in our determination to build on the progress that’s been made.”

For the third year running local authorities and wider partners have come together to ensure there is a coordinated regional response, and this year will include an ongoing offer of emergency accommodation and move-on support to reduce the risk of Covid-19.

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

And residents are being urged to let local authorities know of anyone they think may be rough sleeping.

They can do this by contacting Streetlink at https://www.streetlink.org.uk/.

Councillor David Welsh, Coventry City Council cabinet member for housing and communities, said: “Any rough sleeper can access a bed whether our severe weather emergency protocol has been enacted or not and outreach workers are out with other agencies each day encouraging anyone still sleeping on the street to make use of the accommodation being offered.

“The community can help too by donating to Change Into Action at https://changeintoaction.org.uk/.”

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