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Launch of pilot scheme to help vulnerable homeless people

Published 9th October 2019

A pilot scheme to help some of the most vulnerable homeless people has been launched in Sandwell.

The council’s Housing First pilot, which targets helping rough sleepers with complex needs, getting them off the streets and into accommodation, is now in operation.

The pilot, funded by £935,000 from the West Midlands Combined Authority, will be delivered by Accord Housing Association and will deliver support for dozens of homeless people across Sandwell.

The scheme will help the most vulnerable of homeless people – including those with addiction problems, mental health issues and chaotic lifestyles.

The project will see them receive personalised support as well as a stable home.

The news of Sandwell’s work to fight rough sleeping and help more vulnerable people coincides with World  Homeless Day (Thursday 10 October).

Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for homes Councillor Joanne Hadley said: “The Housing First pilot will help some of the most vulnerable homeless people in Sandwell, specifically rough sleepers or people who are at risk of ending up on the streets.

“The idea is that we give these people real support – not only giving them a safe, stable place to live but working with them to make sure they keep that home and don’t fall risk to homelessness again.

“A key part of this will be the outreach work we’re doing with the local Sikh charitable organisation Midland Langer Seva.

“Since January, the Housing Solutions Team have worked with them on their mobile food bus which offers help to the homeless.

“By connecting with rough sleepers through the food bus, we’ll be able to identify people who can benefit from the pilot and who we can help get off the streets for good.”

Chris Handy, Chief Executive at Accord said: ““Being able to support rough sleepers into independent tenancies is one of Accord’s key aims. We are very pleased to be working with Sandwell Council to support long-term rough sleepers in this region.

"Housing First is a fantastic programme, we have already seen real progress in other areas of the West Midlands where we are providing this service, helping people to get back on their feet and find suitable accommodation. I am confident that together we can now make a real difference to people’s lives in Sandwell.”

Funding for identifying homeless people who are eligible for help through the pilot runs until March 2021, with a further two years of funding to continue to help those identified through to March 2023.