Are you REALLY helping a homeless person?
First of all we want to thank you for visiting our page and finding out more about how to really help a homeless person in Redditch.
When you see someone on the streets it’s easy to be forgiven for thinking that agencies aren’t helping. And there is sometimes a perception that 'the council is doing nothing to tackle homelessness' when this is far from the truth. It is extremely rare, in an area the size of the town centre, that we are not aware of a homeless person or indeed that we haven’t had contact with them. Therefore we have an understanding of their background and needs, and we will be working hard to try and bring them off the streets and offer them appropriate housing.
This doesn’t mean we can solve homelessness overnight, and we are trying to encourage these people to consider other alternative solutions, because sometimes they are stuck in a cycle of living on the streets, and it’s hard for them to break out of this.
When you see someone on the street it’s natural to want to help. But what is it that really helps a homeless person in Redditch?
Giving them change or food and drink does not tackle the underlying issue of homelessness. It actually facilitates and sometimes encourages a street presence, whereas we are working as a council to strongly encourage them to come off the streets or change their ‘street profile’ - this means people who are not necessarily homeless but their high street profile suggests that they are.
Rather than helping them get along on a day by day basis we want to offer long term solutions which will only be successful if they are in the right headspace to do this.
What can you do?
What we want you to do if you REALLY want to help a homeless person get off the streets for good, is to work with the council and support what we are already doing.
There are ways you can directly help a homeless person, or even someone who you may perceive as being homeless, including:
- If you are worried about a homeless person use StreetLink
- Donate food to the foodbank and your food will get to people in need – you can also do this at the Town Hall
- If you strike up a conversation with a homeless person, send them our way so we can give them the support they need.
Other homelessness services