People can turn their change into action and help the lives of people who are sleeping rough or at risk of becoming homeless as a new scheme launches across Dudley borough.
Change into Action is a regional alternative giving campaign, which encourages people to make an online donation rather than giving money to people asking for change on the streets.
At the launch in support of the campaign are from left to right: Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, Anna Walsh, chief executive officer at CHADD, Councillor Laura Taylor-Childs, cabinet member for housing and community services and Aaron Powell, centre manager at the Ryemarket
Dudley Council is the latest local authority to sign up to the campaign, which launched in Stourbridge earlier today (September 8).
Money donated by Dudley borough residents will be managed by the council’s delivery partner Churches Housing Association of Dudley and District (CHADD), a small charitable housing association based in Dudley.
They will use the money to help people in financial hardship, those experiencing food poverty and fuel poverty to prevent the cycle of homelessness.
They will also help young people, young parents and victims of domestic abuse with essential items such appliances and furniture to enable them to set up a new safe long-term home.
CHADD will also work with other local agencies to spend the donations where they are most needed, to help give rough sleepers proactive support and financial help to move away from sleeping rough and into longer term housing.
The Change into Action website can also be used to report the location of anyone that the public thinks is sleeping rough so that they can be connected to local support services.
Councillor Laura Taylor-Childs, cabinet member for housing and community services, said: “Traditionally Dudley has a low number of rough sleepers, but we do have people who are generally known to us who are on streets and asking people for change.
“Often these people are not rough sleepers, but we do know they are in need of some support to bring about positive changes in their lives and remove the need to sit on the streets asking for money.
“Some of the people in this situation have been helped through our Housing First project and for others we try and engage with them through our homelessness prevention team.
“While we welcome people’s generosity and we know they have the best intentions, often the money they give perhaps for food or a hot drink will be used for something else entirely. This scheme is about maintaining that generosity but channelling donations into a good cause that can make positive changes and truly help people.
“As we head towards the autumn and winter months, please consider donating through this project and help us turn your change into positive action.”
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands said: “I am delighted that Dudley has joined Birmingham, Coventry, Sandwell, Solihull and Walsall in adopting Change into Action, which we first introduced in 2017. The scheme offers an alternative way to help, with people knowing that their donation will directly make a difference to the lives of those who are sleeping rough or at risk of homelessness in their local area.
“Since 2017 Change into Action has supported more than 500 individuals across the West Midlands to make that move away from the streets, and I am sure that the generous residents of Dudley will support this initiative.”
Anna Walsh, chief executive officer at CHADD, said: “We are delighted to be the delivery partner for this fantastic initiative building on the generosity of the people of Dudley. Providing a home is more than just bricks and mortar and these donations will enable us to ensure people are practically set up to thrive, and to recover and rebuild after homelessness.”
To make a donation or to find out more go to www.changeintoaction.org.uk/dudley
Rough sleepers can also be reported by calling Dudley’s rough sleepers helpline 0300 555 0030.