New website is one stop shop to help prevent homelessness

A new partnership between the West Midlands Combined Authority and the Street Support Network charity is making it easier for residents at risk of losing their home to get crucial information, advice, and guidance.

Last year around 13,000 residents across the region approached their local council for help to prevent them from becoming homeless, as the cost-of-living started to rise. But residents will now be able to quickly and easily get help before they are in a crisis situation thanks to the new Street Support West Midlands website.

The online service has been created to bring together information about services provided by almost 300 public and voluntary sectors organisations across the WMCA’s seven constituent local authority areas: Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

It is aimed at helping to prevent a wide range of homelessness beyond the most visible form of rough sleeping, such as families with children in temporary accommodation; individuals staying in night shelters, hostels and supported accommodation; and sofa surfers.

Funded by the Government’s Rough Sleeping Initiative, the website is part of the work of the WMCA Homelessness Taskforce. It offers links to services such as debt advice and budgeting, food schemes and accommodation, health services, and training and employment opportunities.

It also points residents and businesses to ways they can support the work of homelessness services, such as giving their time as a volunteer, donating, and other ways of creating a community to tackle homelessness together.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA chair, established the WMCA Homelessness Taskforce to bring together the region’s local authorities, other public, and voluntary sector bodies, and the business community to ensure the region’s mainstream services and systems work collaboratively and are prevention-focussed to keep people in their own homes, jobs, communities, education, and connected to safe support. The Mayor said:

“Right from the very outset of my time in office, I’ve made tackling homelessness a key priority. Our local authorities and wider partners work tirelessly to provide support and early intervention to those at risk of homelessness. Together we can help people get the right support to change their circumstances for the better.

“That’s why it’s good news that this website is going live - making local people more aware of the help at hand. My hope is that this new resource will build on existing homelessness services in a useful and practical way.”

Street Support Network works to connect local people and organisations to support those who need it the most by providing an online hub to find out about homelessness, see what support is available, and to find out what can be done to help.


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