Official figures released by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities yesterday (Thursday 24 February) highlighted Wolverhampton’s success in keeping its rough sleepers count to a minimum.

Over the last 4 years, a multi agency approach has transformed the way rough sleepers are supported in the city.

The number of rough sleepers has fallen from 19 in November 2018 to 5 in the latest Government count completed on 18 November 2021 – down one on the previous year.

Rough sleepers are being helped into long term safe, suitable and sustainable accommodation via the city’s Pathway Service, commissioned by the City of Wolverhampton Council and run by charity P3, with the clear message that nobody needs to sleep outside or go hungry.

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, Enterprise Homes Group, Good Shepherd, Recovery Near You, RMC, Wolverhampton BID, Solace, Changing Lives, West Midlands Police, the Black Country and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group, Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, food services (Good Shepherd, Outreach 4 Wolverhampton, Sant Ashram and Midland Langar) The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and Probation services.

The City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for City Assets and Housing, Councillor Bhupinder Gakhal, said: “The most important message is that nobody has to sleep outside or go hungry in our city. 

“We continue to build on the success of our collaborative, partnership working approach to services for homeless individuals and rough sleepers in Wolverhampton. 

“Working together provides the best possible solution to protecting some of the most vulnerable people in our city. This includes specialist work with many entrenched rough sleepers, who have engaged with services for the first time or after a long break.

“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 Charity.”

P3’s Head of Support & Community Services, Sam Bailey, said: “The support and dedication of all our partners, and the commitment from our local authority to reduce the number of people needing to sleep on the streets, makes such a difference to the people who need us the most.

“By working seamlessly together we have enabled people to have a safe journey away from surviving on the streets and access to somewhere comfortable and secure to call home.” 

For details on how to contact support services to help those experiencing rough sleeping, visit P3 or Find Help - Street Support.

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