The government has released the annual rough sleeping figures for the country and Solihull’s figure has increased by four people on the previous year.
Deputy Leader for Solihull Council and Lead Member for Partnerships and Wellbeing, Cllr Karen Grinsell, said: “The annual figures for people sleeping rough in Solihull are usually low when compared with national and regional figures. Our official figure this year is eight – an increase of four on last year’s. There are various reasons why a person rough sleeps however one of the contributing factors we’re now seeing is as a result of cost-of-living pressures which can affect people’s finances, family relationships and mental health.
“My message remains that no one needs to sleep rough in Solihull. Since January 2022 we have supported 14 people who were rough sleeping or at risk of rough sleeping into secure accommodation. We have also supported ten individuals and two organisations with additional funding through Change into Action Solihull.
“We reorganised our rough sleeper outreach team in October after seeing changes in rough sleeping patterns after the pandemic. The new team is able to start at 5.30am, visiting new areas that people are sleeping in, giving support and building trust until a person is ready to move off the streets and into safe and secure accommodation.
“They are also working right across the borough, engaging with local communities and the emergency services to increase awareness of Streetlink, the national reporting organisation. By doing this they’ve increased the reporting of rough sleepers and the team is well placed to respond to new reports.
“Residents, commuters and visitors can all help us by continuing to report and refer anyone that they think is sleeping rough to Streetlink, the national reporting organisation. Please don’t think someone else has done this so there’s no point. Every report helps the team to do their job of helping people off the streets and into a place they will be able to call their home.”
The national annual rough sleeping figures are produced as a snapshot by every local authority in the country on a single night in autumn. They are produced at the same time each year in order to monitor rough sleeping patterns year on year and region by region. Alongside this snapshot, Solihull Council tracks patterns and numbers to inform its outreach work throughout the year.
Useful websites and phone numbers –
- To report someone sleeping, contact Streetlink at www.streetlink.org (If you use the what3words app that is especially helpful.)
- To view the latest government figures for rough sleeping see – https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/rough-sleeping-snapshot-in-england-autumn-2022/rough-sleeping-snapshot-in-england-autumn-2022
- To make a donation to Change into Action Solihull – which funds additional help with people who are homeless - visit www.changeintoaction.org.uk/solihull
- To contact Solihull Community Housing for emergency provision, call 0121 717 1515 (24/7)
- To find local help or make a donation anywhere in the West Midlands visit - Street Support West Midlands - Street Support Network
- If you think someone is in immediate danger, please call 999.