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Birmingham Homelessness Partnership Board response to increase in people sleeping rough in the city

Published: 31/01/2019

Members of Birmingham Homelessness Partnership Board are committed to working together to ensure no one has to sleep rough on the streets of our city. Those who do are some of the most vulnerable in our city.

We know that homelessness is everybody’s business and in Birmingham we have a strong and diverse Homelessness Partnership Board that brings together, voluntary sector organisations including homelessness charities, public sector bodies, registered landlords and the Local Authority. We have all made a commitment both individually and collectively to ensure that we provide access to advice and services which prevent people from having to sleep rough; to engage with those who feel this is their only option and to support them off the streets and stick with them through recovery and towards a settled home.

Much is in place to make this happen including street intervention and outreach teams; health services for homeless people; commissioned bed spaces and winter shelter provision as well as the new Housing First programme to provide a home and unconditional support. Yet still the numbers have increased.

In Birmingham we are working towards designing homelessness out of our system. But we can only do so much; there is much that is not within our gift to deliver. We will continue to prevent, to intervene and to support recovery. However if we’re really serious about ending rough sleeping, then we need a national commitment to address the impact of the sustained cuts to public and voluntary sector support services. We need cross-government commitment to increase our supply of truly affordable housing, to re-align housing benefits with housing costs, ensure that the welfare system supports people retaining their tenancies and to provide timely access to advice, health and wellbeing support, before people reach crisis.

Members of Birmingham Homelessness Partnership Board include representatives from the following organisations:

Birmingham City Council

Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust

Birmingham Social Housing Partnership

BVSC

Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid

Crisis

CGL

DWP

Longhurst Group

Mind

Midland Heart

National Probation Service

Rathbone

Shelter

Sifa

Spring Housing

St Basils

Staffordshire and West Midlands CRC

Trident

University of Birmingham

West Midlands Police