All you need to know: Birmingham charities for the homeless
Homelessness is a major issue grappling Birmingham. In reply to a A Freedom Of Information request in 2020, Birmingham City Council listed 22,513 people as homeless, making up to 1.97% from the total population in Birmingham.
However, there are many charities based in Birmingham working both on policy and grassroot levels to help the homeless. Listed are some of them;
This charity is helping the homeless in a grassroot level by providing food, drink, and essential supplies to people living rough on the streets. Additionally, the volunteers also specialise in going through different routes around Birmingham in the night and providing free meals to the rough sleepers.
“Since the Covid restrictions came in, we had to stop our soup kitchen which catered to around 150 people every night. But now we go out in small teams to distribute them around the city centre. The city is spread into zones and our volunteers personally know most of the people living in the streets, so it makes our job easier,” said Alan Strang, a trustee of the charity.
Alongside providing food and clothing, the charity also acts as a signposting service to the rough sleepers by offering guidance into obtaining accommodation.
Volunteers and well wishers are encouraged to get involved by donating warm clothing for men which includes shoes, gloves, hats, scarves, and toiletries. More information can be found here.
The charity focuses on working with young people to enable them to find a home, grow their confidence, develop their skills, and prevent homelessness. The charity also works in a policy level in finding ways in preventing homelessness while supporting 500 youth every year.
“What we are trying to do at St Basils is to prevent homelessness happening at all before it reaches a crisis level. Our whole prevention strategy is based on addressing family breakdowns and other main causes on a case by case basis and accommodating youth only as the final option,” said Barrie Hodge, the head of communications at St Basil’s.
The charity is also known for organising ‘The Big SleepOut’ at Birmingham Cathedral garden every year where people come in and sleep rough for one day to spread awareness and raise money. The SleepOut last year was held virtually due to coronavirus restrictions. But it was estimated the event had raised around £30,000.
The mission of this charity is to provide inclusion, engagement and equal access to services to individuals who are disadvantaged or experiencing homelessness. The charity specialises in helping vulnerable adults who are dealing with homelessness while catering to their daily needs and assisting in finding accommodation.
Anyone who is interested in helping this charity is encouraged to volunteer, donate, or fundraise with different planned campaigns.
Birmingham City Mission is a Christian charity committed to helping the needy and marginalised in Birmingham. The charity deals with the elderly, youth and children while operating a resource centre that distributes essential goods, food, clothing and furniture to those in need.
The food bank remains open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 3pm. However, the charity can only accept food donations due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The resource centre is located in Langdon street while more enquiries can be made by calling 0121 766 6603.
Standing Tall is a newly set up charity aimed at matching people sleeping rough with job offers in the market. The charity, along with its accommodation service called ‘Amici’ (meaning friend in Italian), provides a place to stay and pays the wages of individuals on behalf of the employers for the first three months.
Speaking to Homeless Brum, the founder of Standing Tall Christy Acton said the process of paying wages of newly starting individuals had made businesses confident in employing them.
“This model gives a security to the businesses because all the risk is on us for the first few months and the businesses then have the choice to provide the individuals with an employment contract. We also pay each employee a living wage of £9.50 per hour.
“For most of the people, the job is the gamechanger. They have money in their pockets which gives them more choices in life. They also get valued for the work they do which is a very important thing after living in the streets,” said Christy.
Standing Tall also encourages households who have a spare room to play host to a person starting a new job by becoming an Amici. People signing up for this program will have to go through a recruitment process with training and will be expected to host individuals sleeping rough for six months.
“Getting a good job is not enough and we need to find them a good home. When an individual joins with an Amici, we try to understand the interests of the person and make a connection to what the person likes and untap those passions,” says Christy.
More details about Standing Tall and becoming an Amici can be found from here.