A-Z of Services

Rough sleepers

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.

We’ve got a ‘No Second Night Out’ policy and we offer all rough sleepers shelter as soon as we know they’re on the streets. Last year we helped 22 people get emergency shelter for 76 days and provided access to other services to help them get housed.

There is help and support available for everyone who is sleeping rough in the district. We have joined with Maggs Day Centre and other councils in Worcestershire to provide Maggs Outreach and Transition service (MOATS).

The outreach workers work closely with Worcestershire Homeless Prevention & Engagement Service (HoPES) (the council's commissioned service provided by Caring for Communities and People). This is who we have commissioned to offer support services to homeless single and childless couples including access to services such as healthcare, welfare rights advice and rehousing pathways.

CCP offer a “drop-in” service within Kidderminster Customer Service Centre every Wednesday 1pm – 4pm

But not everyone accepts the support offered. This can be for complex reasons and 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 to help them in the area they come from.

Local voluntary, community and faith based organisations such as Nightstop, Food Banks, the Soup Kitchen and Simply Limitless also provide support with food, clothing etc.

When the temperature drops to zero, emergency measures kick in to get all rough sleepers off the streets and into the warm. This is regardless of their situation and background. This is our Severe Winter Emergency Provision (SWEP), which usually operates between November and March.

There is an emergency shelter at The Parish Church of Saint John the Baptist, Bewdley Road, Kidderminster. It opens from 9.30pm until 8.30am.

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.

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 help available including our Housing Advice Team, Maggs Outreach and Transition service (MOATS) and Worcestershire Homeless Prevention & Engagement Service (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 a rough sleeper something like 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.

Maggs Day Centre (MOATS)

Caring for Communities and People (CCP)

Wyre Forest Nightstop & Mediation

St Basil's

You can donate food to a local Foodbank. Many supermarkets also collect donations for foodbanks.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

If you think items have been abandoned on publicly owned land you can let us know by emailing abandonedbelongings@wyreforestdc.gov.uk

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).