West Midlands launches new winter campaign to help the homeless

A new winter campaign to help rough sleepers and those at risk of becoming homeless has been launched by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and Birmingham City Council.

The campaign asks West Midlands residents to look out for people in their areas who might be sleeping rough or at risk of homelessness so they can be connected to local support services.

Rather than giving money directly to people on the street, the campaign highlights alternative ways of helping so that people can get off the streets for good.

man in black jacket and black pants sitting on white snow covered ground during daytime

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: ‘By working together, the region has done a good job of helping society’s most vulnerable and reducing the number of rough sleepers on our streets. However, there is still so much more to be done, and we know winter is traditionally a very challenging time for those sleeping rough.

‘That is why we have launched the ‘There’s a Better Way campaign’, spearheaded by our Change into Action scheme. We know there is a huge number of people who want to help those less fortunate than us and make a difference, but often do not know how. This campaign looks to address this, and ultimately help improve people’s lives.’

Cllr Sharon Thompson, Birmingham City Council’s cabinet member for vulnerable children, families and homelessness, added: ‘As a councillor, I know only too well how emotive it is being asked for money on the street by someone who may appear to be homeless.

‘I also know that the people of Birmingham and the West Midlands are generous and want to help, but sometimes it is not easy to know how best to help or what the true circumstances of the individual are. By donating directly to Change into Action you can be sure that your money will directly and personally help someone who has been sleeping rough. Trusted local charities and street outreach teams work with anyone who has been sleeping rough to identify those things that can really make a change to their life.’

In related news, as he launched his annual Winter Rough Sleeping Fundraising Campaign, the Mayor of London warned that the work to tackle homelessness during the height of the pandemic could go to waste if lessons are not learned.

Photo by Jon Tyson


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