If you are concerned about someone you have seen sleeping rough please contact Streetlink. You can do this online or by calling 0300 500 0914.
The details you provide will be given to our outreach service and they will find the individual and connect them to support. They will also check to see if they’re already getting help.
From April 2021 we introduced a local based scheme across the district called "No First Night Out". This has helped 63 people to be placed in accommodation in its first six months.
What help is offered to rough sleepers in the Wyre Forest district?
There is help and support available for everyone who is sleeping rough in the district. The council has employed Housing Pathway Officers who provide outreach, accommodation and support services and we also work with partners like Maggs Day Centre (along with other Council’s in the county) to provide a “Navigators” service which offers help and support to rough sleepers.
The outreach workers work closely with Worcestershire Homeless Prevention & Engagement Service (HoPES), the councils commissioned service (provided by Caring for Communities and People).HoPES offer support services to homeless single and childless couples including access to services such as healthcare, welfare rights advice and rehousing pathways.
But not everyone accepts the support offered. This can be for complex reasons that may include drug and alcohol addiction or mental health issues. Some rough sleepers may not have a connection with Wyre Forest and so efforts will be made to connect them with services in the area they come from.
Local voluntary, community and faith based organisations such as Nightstop, Food Banks, the Soup Kitchen and Simply Limitless can also provide support with food, clothing etc.
How do we protect rough sleepers in very cold weather?
We have emergency measures in place to get all rough sleepers into accommodation when the temperature drops to zero. This is regardless of their situation and background.
Working closely with Caring for Communities and People, our Severe Winter Emergency Provision (SWEP) will begin on Monday 1 November 2022 to Thursday 31 March 2023
Rough sleepers can access our SWEP though our Housing Advice Team at The Hub between 9am and 5pm or by calling 01562 732787. SWEP can also be accessed out of hours by calling 01562 547694.
We try to get everyone found sleeping rough into a shelter in cold weather. If you see people who you're concerned about, please contact Streetlink online or by calling 0300 500 0914. If it is an emergency call 999.
How you can help rough sleepers in the district?
If you see a rough sleeper who you’re worried about, please contact Streetlink at 0300 500 0914 or via www.streetlink.org.uk.
If you are happy to talk to the person tell them about the Housing Advice Team or other services such as the Navigator service and HoPES.
Giving people on the streets money directly isn’t always the best way to help them. We find that it can sometimes do more harm than good, because it can help to sustain drug and alcohol addiction. This is a view also supported by the charities we work with. You could buy them something a hot drink or, if they are selling The Big Issue buy a copy.
We have several charities in the district that help the homeless. You can donate money, food, clothing and household items.
Caring for Communities and People (CCP)
Wyre Forest Nightstop & Mediation
You can donate food to a local food bank. Many supermarkets also collect donations for food banks.
You can also volunteer for a charity that works with homeless people. Please use the links to the charities provided above.
If you are registered charity that helps homeless people – contact Barbara Sarbinowska 01562 732181 if you would like to be included on the website and get involved with our Alternative Giving Scheme.
I have reported a rough sleeper – why are they still on the streets?
We offer help and support to everybody who is sleeping rough in the district but not everyone accepts that support, for complex reasons that may include drug and alcohol addiction or mental health issues.
Many of the rough sleepers in Wyre Forest are people who have:
- Rejected our help
- Been asked to leave shelters or emergency accommodation due to violence or substance use
- Refused to return to their place of origin where they can best be helped
Some people you may see beg aren’t actually homeless.
What should I do about people asking me for money?
It is your choice if you decide to give people money but the council, and the homeless charities we work with, know that the cash isn’t likely to be spent on things people say they need like food, clothing or accommodation. Our experience is that it often goes on hard drugs and alcohol or the people begging aren’t actually homeless. This is why we encourage you to donate to charities working with homeless in the local area instead.
Homelessness is about more than “rooflessness”, it is a more complex issue. Providing tents might seem a quick, helpful and easy solution but it can stop people from seeking the help and support they need, which includes working towards getting accommodation.
Why don't we put people in empty buildings?
We appreciate why this seems like the simplest solution but sadly rough sleeping is a complex problem with no easy answer. It isn’t safe for us to give them an empty building that isn’t warm and well maintained or properly staffed and supervised as the building could pose a danger to the rough sleeper or others.
Getting people off the streets is rarely as simple as just finding them a place to stay. They’re often experiencing a series of challenges, including mental and physical ill-health, alcohol and drug addiction and a history of offending. This is why we commission and support services that do more than help people access accommodation.
We are working with partners to provide accommodation for people facing homelessness and we work with property owners to bring empty homes back into use. If you are aware of an empty home you can tell us about it.
What is the role of the Police?
All evidence shows that sleeping on the streets is dangerous and bad for someone’s health and wellbeing. The Police are supportive and compassionate people who work closely with us and other services to help people find the help they need. The public and local businesses also expect the Police to enforce the law when a crime is committed.
What to do about abandoned belongings
If you think items have been abandoned on publicly owned land you can let us know by emailing email@example.com
Officers will visit the location within two working days and serve an advisory note that the belongings will be removed after another two days.
Once removed we will keep the items for collection from our Green Street depot for 28 days (unless they are soiled, dangerous or contaminated in which case they will be disposed of).
We do not have the power to remove belongings on private property (this may include shop and office doorways) unless there is a statutory nuisance (in which case we would take action against the land owner).