City of Wolverhampton’s Rough Sleeping Prevention Group has put a plan in place to help keep rough sleepers safe this winter.

More rough sleepers are now being helped into accommodation via the city’s Pathway Service, commissioned by City of Wolverhampton Council and run with charity P3, with the clear message that nobody needs to sleep outside

The council’s City Housing teams and Public Health team support the multi-agency operational group, which aims to continue to provide a rapid response to new rough sleepers; provide support based on everyone's needs, prevent anyone needing to spend a second night on the street; helps rough sleepers to access a place of safety; and reconnects rough sleepers from outside the area with their community.

The ongoing work also involves city organisations Wolverhampton Homes Housing Options, Police, Recovery Near You, Wolverhampton BID, Church Shelter, SUIT, Good Shepherd, St Georges HUB, Refugee and Migrant Centre, Street Pastors, as well as other voluntary groups.

As part of the severe weather provision shelters, hostels, and access to temporary accommodation will be available.

People who are sleeping rough, or are at risk of becoming homeless, often also have complex needs including physical and mental health problems.

Supporting vulnerable clients through Public Health, NHS, Social Care and addiction services, alongside housing and employment support, is deemed essential to helping individuals find a long term and sustainable alternative to sleeping rough.

The council is also working with the West Midlands Combined Authority and its member local authorities to tackle rough sleeping as part of a coordinated regional response.

City of Wolverhampton Council Director of City Assets and Housing, Kate Martin, said:

Wolverhampton is working towards there being nobody in the city having to sleep outside or be hungry.

Many of those who are rough sleeping do have complex needs. Our Public Health in partnership approach is tackling the issue, supporting people into accommodation and giving them access to the services and support they need.

Our work does not stop here, and we would still encourage local people to continue to support us and donate to our Alternative Giving Campaign.

Angela Barnes, Wolverhampton Homes’ Assistant Director for Housing Options, added:

We recognise that the journey back to secure accommodation for those sleeping rough can be difficult.

We’re committed to working with partners to support people into housing that will springboard them to a healthier and happier life, with better employment prospects and access to other services.

People will be able to alert the council to rough sleepers by contacting StreetLink (www.streetlink.org.uk).

For details on how to contact support services to help those experiencing rough sleeping, visit www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/article/12771/Rough-sleepers.

People can also help rough sleepers by donating money at one of the many Alternative Giving Campaign collection points around the city.

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