Homeless Poster Slider

Redditch residents are being asked to consider if their kind actions are really helping to tackle homelessness as part of a hard-hitting campaign launched by the borough council.

A series of posters are set to be displayed across Redditch and via social media, which asks if giving cash, refreshments and clothes to homeless people is actually stopping them getting off the streets for good.

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This follows the appearance of a makeshift ‘camp’ in the borough which has sparked concerns from residents.

Cllr Mark Shurmer, whose portfolio covers homelessness said: “It is very unlikely that if someone is homeless in Redditch that we don’t know about it and haven’t made contact in some way.

“We want to offer long term solutions for these people and unfortunately, acts of kindness from the public are not tackling the underlying issues.

“These posters may seem hard-hitting but we have to break this cycle.

“By working together and informing residents how they can help us to really help a homeless person, we can make a real difference and change someone’s life for the better.”

Redditch Borough Council has already met with local groups and organisations who help the homeless in Redditch to work out a concerted effort to tackle the issue.

The posters signpost residents to the borough council’s website where there is information on how they can REALLY help a homeless person.

Housing Strategy Manager Derek Allen added: “The kindness of people can sometimes inadvertently support a street presence cycle – and it’s not a solution to ending that.

“Our poster challenges people by asking them, are they really helping a homeless person. By signposting them to our website where we explain why their kindness is not necessarily offering a long term solution. We explain what they can do, by working with us, to help get people off the streets, long term.

“The best way to help people off the streets is for the council and residents to encourage people off the streets by giving them the same message.”

Recently 13 individuals have been offered assistance by the borough council’s Housing Options Team to secure emergency accommodation and other solutions. These have included emergency hostel placements, supported housing, and other forms of help. These solutions have mostly been declined.