4th July 2018

Feeling Helpless about Homelessness?

Many of us are worried about the increasing number of people sleeping rough, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Seeing people in desperate circumstances can leave us feeling helpless, especially when we are advised not to give money directly to people who are begging.

Our new theme at Peace Hub ‘A Place to Call Home’ is all about looking at what we can do to make sure everyone has somewhere fit to live.

Retail Bid Birmingham and Association of Town & City Management have produced some helpful tips for practical ways you can help, if you are concerned about homelessness.

If you would like to help someone who you believe is rough sleeping in Birmingham you can contact:

  • Midland Heart Outreach 0345 602 05 33
  • Streetlink 0300 500 0914

You are advised not give money directly to people who are begging as this may prevent them from engaging with the services that are there to help them.

Local charities SIFA Fireside and St Basil’s can use your donations to give practical support to people who find themeselves homeless.

You can also buy a copy of The Big Issue from an official vendor.

The Big Issue exists to provide homeless people with the opportunity to earn an income by selling a magazine to the public.  Vendors buy the magazine for £1.25 and sell it for £2.50 making £1.25 profit.  Vendors are working, not begging: so if you buy a magazine, please take one.  Always buy from an official vendor, who will have an in-date identity badge.

The Big Issue Foundation runs alongside the magazine business, and helps provide vendors with extra support, such as access to training.  You can read personal stories of vendors in the Foundation’s newsletter.

It’s important to remember that most homelessness is hidden, with people living in hostels or temporary accommodation, sofa-surfing or stuck in conditions unfit to live in.

We’ll be sharing more about this (and ways you can take action) soon: so watch this space, or pop into Peace Hub for a chat.

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