Over the last 3 years, a multi agency approach has transformed the way rough sleepers are supported in the city.
The number of rough sleepers has fallen by 88% from 33 in April 2018 to 4 in January 2021.
Rough sleepers are being helped into accommodation via the city’s Pathway Service, commissioned by City of Wolverhampton Council and run by charity P3, with the clear message that nobody needs to sleep outside or go hungry.
It follows work earlier in the pandemic which saw more than 100 people either facing the threat of homelessness or who were rough sleeping successfully moved into long term safe, suitable, and sustainable accommodation.
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, has helped many of them find a long term and sustainable alternative to sleeping rough.
The ongoing work to tackle rough sleeping also involves city organisations Wolverhampton Homes, St George’s Hub, P3, Enterprise Homes Group (Night Shelter), Good Shepherd, Recovery Near You, RMC, Wolverhampton BID, Solace, Changing Lives, Police, Wolverhampton CCG, Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, food services (Good Shepherd, Outreach 4 Wolverhampton, Sant Ashram, Midland Langar, Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, and Probation services.
City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for City Assets and Housing, Councillor Jacqueline Sweetman, said: “Nobody has to sleep outside or go hungry in our city.
“The work during the coronavirus crisis has built on the collaborative, partnership working approach to services for homeless individuals and rough sleepers in Wolverhampton.
“There have been many positive success stories with some residents, who are entrenched rough sleepers, engaging with services for the first time or after a long break.
“Working with partners, it is now important we continue to build on this success to ensure we offer the best service possible to some of the most vulnerable people in our city.
“Finding new ways to fund this critical work is also important and I would encourage local people to continue to support all the work being done by partners, many of whom are volunteers, by donating to the Alternative Giving Campaign.”
Service Manager, Tanya Johnson, added: “Our team goes out early in the morning and in all weathers to respond to reports of people sleeping rough, supporting them to access the services they need to find a route away from homelessness.
“The multi agency approach that we have in Wolverhampton is extremely effective in ensuring that people get the right support at the right time. We will continue to work closely with Wolverhampton Council and all our local partners to find lasting solutions for those we support.”
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 online to the city’s Alternative Giving Campaign.