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Rough Sleeping

The Homelessness Taskforce’s Rough Sleeping Task Group is working to coordinate activity to end rough sleeping across the WMCA region. Currently the group is working with the Centre for Homelessness Impact as one of five early adopter areas to define what it will mean to successfully end rough sleeping.

Our goal and the definition that we have co-designed as part of the early adopter work is to ensure that rough sleeping is prevented wherever possible, so it is rare, and where it occurs it is a brief and non-recurring experience.

We are testing out an approach with the Centre for Homelessness Impact and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) to better track progress towards ensuring that rough sleeping is prevented as much as possible and is measurably rare, brief and non-recurring, and to use this to understand challenges and learn from what is working.  

This early adopter initiative is the first both to introduce a simple and memorable definition of ending rough sleeping and develop meaningful indicators that can help to drive forward efforts to achieve this.

Rough Sleeping Initiative

Since 2020 the WMCA Homelessness Taskforce has been successful in securing funding from the Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities (DLUHC) Rough Seeping Initiative. This funding to the WMCA from DLUHC has been awarded in addition to Rough Sleeping Initiative (RSI) funding allocated to our constituent local authorities.

The intention of the WMCA RSI programme is to develop region-wide initiatives aimed at system change through to those testing out innovation in service delivery, to add value to the work of local authority partners.

In addition, we have developed an exciting training offer for staff, volunteers and trustees working across services that help to prevent rough sleeping, support people on the street to move on into accommodation and sustain recovery and independence.

We have produced three key learning reports covering the work undertaken between 2020 and 2023.

Rough Sleeping Initiative Resources

Housing First

In 2018 we secured Government funding alongside Greater Manchester and Liverpool to pilot the Housing First approach across the region.

Pioneered in the USA and central to the national homelessness strategies in Canada, Denmark, Finland and France; Housing First is underpinned by the principle that everyone has the right to a home which provides them with security giving them a better chance of conquering health and other challenges.

The Housing First approach represents a significant departure from traditional ‘linear’ models for provision of housing for people experiencing homelessness, multiple disadvantage and serial exclusions.

To date the West Midlands Housing First pilot has supported over 500 individuals into independent accommodation with wrap-around support to re-build their lives and stay in their accommodation.

The WMCA Homelessness Taskforce commissioned Campbell Tickell to undertake some research to capture key learning from our pilot. An executive report and full report are available for further information about our pilot.

Housing First Resources

Alternative Giving

Alternative giving schemes offer local residents and businesses the opportunity to make a real difference by donating money to reduce the impact of rough sleeping and to prevent rough sleeping. That is why the WMCA Homelessness Taskforce in partnership with the Mayor of the West Midlands and the region’s local authorities developed Change into Action.   Change into Action provides a safe, easy and secure way to donate money to fund practical support for people who are or have been rough sleeping across the region. The scheme brings together partners from key local organisations, such as specialist homelessness charities and street teams that work with individuals to identify practical measures that can make a difference and help make that move away from the streets.

Operating since 2017, Change into Action is administered and managed locally in Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull and Walsall; with Wolverhampton having a similar initiative known as Alternative Giving CIO.

We invite you to join us in working together so that every member of the community can turn small change into big change. Our local community and charitable organisations are the frontline of our response to homelessness. Their staff and volunteers work tirelessly, and a donation to them can also make a huge difference to what they are able to achieve. To see what organisations are active in your area, go to the Street Support website.