Agencies combine to provide access to support.
As the nights draw in and the temperature drops a number of agencies in Birmingham are calling on members of the public to download the StreetLink app this winter. The call comes following the launch of the Homeless Street Intervention Team, a partnership of agencies in the city: housing association Midland Heart, Birmingham City Council, substance misuse charity CGL, and West Midlands Police. They work together to address the issue of rough sleeping in the city and take referrals through street link from 7am-11pm each day.
Once referred, those experiencing homelessness can access the support that they need, including accommodation, food, health services and help with substance or alcohol misuse. Sharne Maher, Operations Manager for Midland Heart said: “Homelessness is very complex issue and those rough sleeping need tailored support to help them get back on their feet.
“The situation is not solved with a hot drink or a sandwich – though I wouldn’t decline someone this if I were asked – but we would much prefer your efforts be spent highlighting any individual to us so that we can get them the help they need.”
The Street Intervention Team has been up and running for just over three months and since then 252 individuals have been helped into accommodation or supported housing, to live with friends or family or return home. It has given substance misuse help 179 times and found housing for 38 people. Whilst the overriding objective of the team is to support and signpost people the Street Intervention Team also takes action to address begging and anti-social behaviour and to tackle breaches of criminal behaviour orders.
If you are concerned about someone sleeping rough download the app or head to streetlink.org.uk. If the person needs urgent medical attention please call 999.