BROMSGROVE Council members voted unanimously to put a plan into place to ensure residents knew what to do if they found a person sleeping rough in the district, writes Louise Newton.
The motion was submitted by Coun Peter McDonald at last Wednesday’s full county meeting.
Councillors said although there was not a problem with rough sleeping in Bromsgrove District, it was important for people to know what to do if and when any situations which arose.
Figures on rough sleeping in the town are very low and preventative and emergency measures are in place.
Coun Kit Taylor said: “Bromsgrove has no track record of rough sleeping, but in the past few months we have needed to assist several people who have required emergency help with housing because they have nowhere to live.”
Bromsgrove District and Worcestershire County Council already have four priorities in place to cope with potential homelessness – early prevention for single people and childless couples, addressing housing and support requirements for people with complex needs, improving access to settled housing for those in temporary accommodation, and working with vulnerable people to prevent homelessness occurring.
He added officers had worked with the Town Centre Partnership to put together a public information leaflet on ‘how to help a rough sleeper’.
It details how residents concerned for someone’s welfare should contact the charity Streetlink which will provide them with some prompt assistance locally. The leaflets (below) will be posted to every home with their annual council tax payment details.
And Coun Taylor said the information was also available on the council’s website and Bromsgrove street traders had been briefed about what to do if they were concerned about a rough sleeper.
Coun Geoff Denaro, leader of the council, said: “There are two ways in which we as a council work to combat homelessness – dealing with emergency homelessness and working to prevent the conditions that lead to homelessness, which can be family breakdown, debt, or sudden job loss.”
Praise was given to the Basement Project by Coun Margaret Sherrey for the work the charity did with young people who were homeless or facing homelessness.