New scheme is tackling homelessness in Birmingham

Funding enables job seeking initiative to be set up.

Homelessness has risen to its highest rate in the West Midlands in the last year but two organisations have joined together in an initiative dedicated to changing that.

A lot of people doing a little is better than a few people doing a lot. That’s the motto of ex-serviceman Ian Northcott (AKA the ‘Busking Bobby’). In 2010 he decided he wanted to do something to help the homeless people of Birmingham – and that’s where Socks and Chocs began.

The charity gives essential items such as bedding, toiletries and clothing to people living on the streets as well as funding essential health needs and short-term emergency accommodation. They are now teaming up with St Anne’s Birmingham to fund a job club, which is to be held at St Anne’s Hostel.

For over 30 years, St Anne’s has played a vital role in caring for Birmingham’s homeless, providing a bed, food and support for men aged 25 and over. They are also one of very few hostels in the country that accept homeless men with dogs, giving their much-loved canine companions a place to stay and be cared for.

funding from Socks and Chocs will allow St Anne’s to run Job Club, courses covering health and safety, first aid, manual handling and food hygiene. It will also allow them to purchase a new printer/scanner/copier, two new laptops, numeracy work books, literacy work books and a range of stationary to aid the men’s studies.

The job club will launch on 2nd September 2019 and will be managed by a dedicated skills co-ordinator at the hostel who will be tasked with getting the men involved in the project. The hope is that the job club will give the men the skills necessary to get much needed employment which in turn will give them the wages needed to get them out of their current situation.

More details can be found here and Ian can be contacted at socksandchocsteam@yahoo.com