Homelessness is a complex issue, so it can often be challenging to understand how people are supported and where to signpost them.
Birmingham City Council remains at the heart of homeless support in the city, and there are several key services that prevent and relieve homelessness. Some are commissioned directly by the council to provide specific support, others are considered ‘key services’ and fund their own activity separately.
Birmingham’s Rough Sleeper Outreach Services
Exists to help members of the public and on street groups connect people sleeping rough with the local services that can support them. If you are concerned about someone over the age of 18 that you have seen sleeping rough in Birmingham (or anywhere in England and Wales), you can use the website to send an alert to StreetLink or call 0300 500 0914. The details you provide are sent to the RSOT to help them find the individual and connect them to the right support. It is important to note that if you think the person you are concerned about is under 18, please do not contact StreetLink but instead call the police. Visit the website.
The Rough Sleeper Outreach Team (RSOT), which connects directly into StreetLink, is operated by Trident Reach and provides a street-based outreach service that supports people sleeping rough to access accommodation. The outreach team are out seven days a week, throughout the day and night. They can help with access to accommodation and benefits, help obtaining health services, and direct access to health services. Visit the website.
Street Support Network – an online digital platform making it easy to find services to meet the needs of someone who is experiencing homeless. Working in partnership with the West Midlands Combined Authority and Birmingham City Council, Street Support Network provides a central place to find out about homelessness, see what support is available, and find out what you can do to help. It allows agencies, members of the public and individuals at risk of or experiencing homelessness to find the most appropriate service to meet a need in one place. Visit the website.
Operated by Birmingham City Council, the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol is initiated in cases of extreme weather and below zero temperatures. When SWEP is active there is additional capacity at commissioned accommodation providers. You can find out when over on Trident’s Twitter.
Offers advice and support services, providing one-to-one, personalised help with housing issues and homelessness. They have a team of Lived Experience Navigators (outreach workers) who engage with individuals aged over 25, who have been historically long disengaged from support services to
focus on gradually and informally building relationships of trust before exploring support and accommodation options. Visit the website.
Works with young people aged 16-25 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, to enable them to find and keep a home, grow their confidence, develop their skills, increase opportunities and prevent homelessness. St Basil’s has a Young Person’s Navigator outreach service, working closely with the RSOT to make contact via street outreach, as well as self-referral and streetlink. The Navigators aim to contact the rough sleeper within 24 hours and carry out risk and needs assessment, then support the young person to return home or secure alternative suitable accommodation and access relevant services. Visit the website.
Supports women and children affected by domestic violence and abuse. The BSWA Domestic Abuse Hub helps people obtain safe accommodation as well as providing practical and emotional support. Visit the website.
Offers daily drop-in sessions in Digbeth, giving rough sleepers access to food, shelter, showers and other basic needs. SIFA Fireside is also commissioned by Birmingham City Council to provide emergency accommodation support for anyone made homeless or about to be made homeless, with council officers located on site at SIFA Fireside. Other wrap-around support delivered by the team includes welfare and benefits support and advice, and social support. Services are for single people or childless couples, unless otherwise stated. Visit the website.
The Change Grow Live (CGL) Rapid Prescribing Service provides a clinical prescriber and two outreach Recovery Coordinators to deliver a rapid prescribing service at selected hostels. They work closely with other services, and work with complex clients as part of the multi-agency Rough Sleepers team operating across the city. Clients are supported until they are settled in accommodation for up to three months then transferred to the community hubs. Visit the website.
Provides vital help so that people can rebuild their lives and are supported out of homelessness for good. They offer one-to-one support, advice and courses for homeless people, and campaign for the changes needed to end homelessness for good. Visit the website.
A primary care service for homeless people in the Birmingham area, provided by Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust at their hub and by outreach. They offer a full general practice service to those who are homeless or vulnerably housed (aged 16+ and not pregnant) and are part of the city’s outreach team. Visit the website.
A charity that supports people affected by alcohol, drugs and gambling, Aquarius has a Navigator who works closely with the St Basil’s Navigators. They provide similar support but focused on those who need substance support, as well as tenancy assistance, offering a softer therapeutic approach. The Aquarius role complements the St. Basils navigators offering a time out space and works closely with CGL for those who need scripting or detox. Visit the website.
An alternative giving scheme created in partnership by the Mayor of the West Midlands, the WMCA Homelessness Taskforce, local authorities, voluntary sector organisations and business representatives.
– Change Into Action has three objectives:
- Providing the public information about homelessness
- Providing a way for the public to give money to support people on the streets
- Enabling the public to identify and locate individuals rough sleeping so that they can be connected to local support services
Further information and details about how to donate can be found on the website.