A Wolverhampton resident has thanked the city’s Homeless Operational Group for ‘empowering’ him to turnaround his life during the coronavirus pandemic.

Daniel Blackhouse was one of the first individuals to be safeguarded from the streets at a city hotel by the multi agency group when Government measures came into force around the outbreak

Since the crisis began more than 100 people either facing the threat of homelessness or who were rough sleeping have now been successfully moved on from the city’s emergency shelter into long-term safe, suitable, and sustainable accommodation – and Daniel is one of them.

The group, led by City of Wolverhampton Council’s Housing and Public Health teams, has also supported over 30 clients into treatment for substance misuse during the pandemic and has been instrumental in helping Daniel in this area.

He said: “I was on the streets for a couple of years on and off whist I was battling drug addiction. Now I’m moving on to new things since being at the hotel in supported accommodation that is good and happy. I feel empowered so now things are falling into place for me. I didn’t expect this to happen so quickly but it has and I’m much happier with my life as a whole. Thanks to all the staff that made it happen at the hotel.”

All the agencies came together to provide the support he required – but had previously disengaged from. The team from Wolverhampton Church Night Shelter delivered key work support, he was able to actively engage with the Good Shepherd, Recovery Near You and Thornley Street Surgery. Daniel even had support from the local police to help him collect his medication. He also had access to three meals a day provided by Midland Langar, Outreach 4 Wolverhampton, Jolly’s Catering, Sant Ashram, Helping Hearts, Sedgley Street Gurdwara and the City of Wolverhampton Council, enabling him to build his physical wellbeing and resilience.

Councillor Jacqueline Sweetman, City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for City Assets and Housing, added: “The work by the group during the coronavirus crisis has built on the collaborative, partnership working approach to services for homeless individuals and rough sleepers in Wolverhampton. 

“The positive relationships between partners at all levels has meant that residents receive the best service possible, which is having real outcomes. 

“There have been many positive success stories with some residents, one of which is Daniel’s. I am delighted to hear about the catalyst the group’s support gave him to change his life and those of many others.”

Operational group partners include: Wolverhampton Homes, St George’s Hub, P3, Enterprise Homes Group (Night Shelter), Good Shepherd, Recovery Near You, RMC, Wolverhampton BID, Solace, Changing Lives, Police, A&E Security, Wolverhampton CCG, Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, food services (Good Shepherd, Outreach 4 Wolverhampton, Sant Ashram, Midland Langar, Helping Hands, Sedgley Street Sikh Gurdwara), Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, and Probation services.

For details on how to contact support services to help those experiencing rough sleeping, visit Rough sleepers

People can also help the homeless and rough sleepers by donating money to the city’s Alternative Giving Campaign.