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With the festive season upon us, Redditch Borough Council are asking residents to let them know if they spot anyone sleeping rough this Winter.

If residents see anyone sleeping on the streets they should in the first instance contact Streetlink online or call 0300 500 0914. If you see anyone collapsed or in immediate danger on the street, please call the Emergency Services.

Streetlink help by passing through the details of rough sleepers to the Council or to an outreach service that will find the individual and contact them to offer support. They will also check to see if they are already getting help.

Across Worcestershire more than 150 people have been helped so far, throughout the course of the pandemic, although a few people have chosen not to take the assistance offered. The local authority teams and outreach services are continuing to work to keep these individuals safe. Redditch was able to offer accommodation to 28 single homeless people under the Government’s Everyone In initiative many of whom moved on into permanent housing solutions, secured through the private rented sector and social housing with support.

Arrangements are also in place to open an emergency night shelter for anyone sleeping on the streets if temperatures reach freezing over the winter months. The countywide Severe Winter Emergency and Cold Weather Fund provision makes sure those people who were offered accommodation but did not accept it or could not remain there, do have somewhere to go when temperatures fall.

Cllr Craig Warhurst, Portfolio Holder for Housing Services, said: “Whenever we are made aware that someone is sleeping rough our Housing Options Team, and the CCP outreach team, do everything they can to engage with them in order to secure accommodation and offer shelter. We are asking people to let us know if they see anyone sleeping rough by contacting Streetlink.”

Residents are also asked to consider whether than can help by volunteering with local charities over the festive period. They are also reminded that, should they wish to donate money or items to homeless people, that they should do this through registered charities rather than giving directly to someone on the street.

Local churches or charities can be approached directly or alternatively people can register on Here2Help. This website was set up to help people during Covid and local councils can match volunteers to local groups looking for help.