Work continues to help rough sleepers
Published 19th March 2021
Sandwell Council continues to do everything it can to support people sleeping rough in the borough.
Sandwell Council’s Housing Solutions Service has been working hard throughout the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the latest associated restrictions it has brought with it.
During the last 12 months the service has helped more than 70 rough sleepers into emergency accommodation with a number of these securing a home to call their own.
Throughout the colder winter months, we have provided emergency housing to around 40 people, many of whom were found sleeping rough
Through our Housing First pilot we have housed 43 rough sleepers in secure homes since August 2019 and are supporting more than 20 more to find a home and to help them with their finances and health.
Each year, every council carries out a formal rough sleeper count on a single autumn night in October or November. Sandwell carried out its 2020 count in November and saw a reduction in the number of rough sleepers down some 60% from its 2019 figures – a reduction from 10 to 4.
The council’s housing team carried out the count again in January 2021 and found no one sleeping rough.
Councillor Keith Allcock, cabinet member for homes, said; “We will continue to work with anyone we find or who is reported as sleeping rough to give them the best chance of staying off the streets and into somewhere safe.
“We’re continuing to improve the ways we work and how we can support everyone who is already homeless and those who are at risk of becoming homeless and our aim is to ensure that no one has to sleep rough.
“We’re making sure that all known rough sleepers have accommodation available to them and have responded to any new reports with offers of accommodation.
“If we are told about anyone sleeping rough, we will go and see them the same day and offer help, including somewhere safe to stay.
Councillor Maria Crompton, Sandwell’s deputy council leader, added: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our staff and housing partners working tirelessly to make sure everyone in Sandwell is receiving the necessary support they need at this very difficult time.
“We’ve also launched a new way of giving donations to the homeless with the alternative giving campaign Change Into Action offering practical, positive help for rough sleepers in Sandwell.
If you see a rough sleeper or are worried about someone who may be sleeping rough, you can contact us online or call us on 0121 368 1166 (option 2) or if it’s after 5pm or at the weekend call 0121 569 6883.