According to statistics from Shelter, 15,538 people in Birmingham are homeless, meaning 1 in 73 people on average. Furthermore, a count taken in 2018 saw 91 people sleeping rough in the streets of Birmingham in a single night.
Sleeping rough can take a huge toll on a homeless individual. It can have a disastrous impact on mental and physical health and increases the likelihood of developing substance misuse issues. Furthermore, it is a dangerous experience. Those who sleep on the streets are 17 times more likely to have been a victim of violence and 1 in 4 female rough sleepers have been sexually assaulted whilst sleeping rough.
With so many complex needs, it is imperative that rough sleepers receive a great deal of support. In Birmingham, the will to help enable those sleeping rough to achieve better is there, but the problem is not going away and is getting worse.
For over two years homelessness has become The Future Melting Pot’s primary area of focus. Last month they brought together 160 delegates representing over fifty organisations for a conference, and have produced a report which outlines many of the issues raised, with suggestions on some of the things which can be done to alleviate them.