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Midland Heart report

 
March 7th 2012
 

 

In the wake of increasing numbers of rough sleepers, and no reliable method to count them, Midland Heart has been commissioned to write a report on the state of rough sleeping in the West Midlands. The report outlines the current scale of rough sleepers in the area who do not have access to dedicated outreach services, and makes appropriate recommendations as to how funding could be most effectively utilised by the West Midlands Homelessness Forum.

The severe lack of integration between services is widely discussed throughout the report. There is no central system that a support worker can go to to access customer records. Many ‘entrenched’ homeless people have accessed various support agencies over the years, and when coming in fresh to a new agency it would be beneficial for all information collected to be easily obtained. Surely, the simplest way to do this would be through the NHS, which already has existing databases capable of handling the information.

We know that mental heath problems are prominent within the rough sleeping group, so access to all available material would help to highlight an issue faster, meaning support can be offered earlier. The report highlighted the lack of mental heath expertise and awareness within homeless organizations, and this seems to be an area that increased funding could hugely benefit. Partially to blame is the current ‘reactive’ system that is in place, rather than a protocol focused on prevention. Both training frontline staff could be beneficial here, but also having a dedicated team available to deal with the specific issues across the area.

The report has suggested that due to the relatively small numbers of rough sleepers in the areas scoped, it might be beneficial for the authorities to pool their resources and have outreach workers covering wider areas. This could encourage more specialist support workers, with a dedicated team to facilitate information sharing, meaning customers would have increased options and support. The current lack of direct-access hostels also increases the need for a 24-hour support system.

It is evident from the interviews that rough sleepers and sofa-surfers are well known by the authorities, and they in turn do not know what help is available. The report suggests a marketing campaign and online portal could be beneficial, where people access what support is available, enabling them to contact the appropriate service.

The report is a step in the right direction. It has highlighted the need for more awareness among frontline workers and the urgent need for integration of services. It also notes the excellent work that currently takes place, particularly that of charities and volunteers. With rental prices rising and the economic downturn leaving many unemployed, rough sleeping is sadly on the rise, and therefore it is important to get in early with these preventative measures to ensure no one takes to the streets without knowing they have somewhere to go.

 
 
 

 

Contents

New arrivals hit the streets

Soup Run Forum

Web only: Emergency Islington shelter remains open during sub-zero temperatures

Chairman of the board

Rest in peace - in memory of lost friends

Prince poses

Starter pack boost

Wearing a jacket to beg?

Teens found guilty of killing Ralph Millward

The Passage withdraws service "as a last resort"

New learning centre for Glasgow

iHobo game causes controversy

Auckland extends ban on rough sleepers

Homeless interrogation

Affordable housing development opens in Edinburgh

Who decides?

Credit unions

New counts are optional

Nobby on stage

I will never forget you, my people

London homeless services in limbo over ?Ǭ£3.28m cuts

Disused night shelter re-opened for winter months

Coventry Cyrenians forced to cut services

London hub success for new rough sleepers

Crisis Skylight in Birmingham - a year on

Residents look ahead to staff upheaval

Midland Heart report

Labour call for hefty council tax levy on empty homes

Stik pic for the American Church

Lottery grant means new opportunities

Mungo?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s launches women?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s campaign

Homeless people forced into slavery

Homeless couple marry in Australia

Number of homeless in Southend underestimated

Basic banking for all

NSNO expands into west London

Scottish homeless applications drop by 19 per cent

Miami cannibal

Invisible People film UK homeless

The demilitarised zone in North America’s drug war

2012 - the year of the right to permanent accommodation in Scotland?

Crisis at Christmas

The Pavement is recruiting

Rough sleeper donates $250 to charity

Food voucher scheme scrapped

Commemorating friends and companions

Human rights for all

First person: Gemskii on regaining control of her life

The shades come off

Upfront: spikes

Comment: Spikes are the least of your worries

Opinion: All up in smoke?

Heartbreak Hotel, episode 4.

The Pied Piper of Housing

March for the Homeless

Being homeless doesn't mean you can't vote on May 7

The vulnerability ruling

The Queen’s speech

Criminalising homelessness

116-bed hostel for young homeless to close in Southwark

Sponsor a bed and rebuild a life

Hipsters neutralise anti-homeless spikes

What the Brexit will happen now?

Anti-homelessness protesters threatened with eviction, jail by Manchester city council

Showing our impact

Rebirth

The birth of the North Gower Action Group

A pianist, an artist, a dog called George and a new homeless app

Living water

Midwinter blues?

Councils back change in law to tackle rising homelessness

Having problems with your JSA?

Mayoral hustings on homelessness

Skippering

A major step in reducing homelessness?

Liverpool Police homeless curb beggars belief

Charity begins at home?

Legal aid charade

Surviving the streets – by those who've done it

Stop the scandal

Glasgow homeless services at risk

Bill gives councils legal duty to stop homelessness

Homeless Grenfell survivors afraid of deportation

Content & Communications Officer

 

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