WHAT IF WE COULD SOLVE THE ROUGH SLEEPING PROBLEM IN BIRMINGHAM?
We are Active Christians, the Ministry of Homeschool Social Enterprise (1146794). If you're new to us then you may like to know that since 2015, working with the homeless has been one of our main activities as a charity.
We understand that homelessness can happen to anyone at any time and we recognise the pain of every single rough sleeper. While as a charity we have done a lot to meet the immediate needs of the homeless, we recognise that more needs to be done.
A recent article stated:
'Across Birmingham, it's estimated 20 people experiencing homelessness died on the streets last year, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Two homeless people were dying every day in England and Wales in 2021, with an estimate of 741 homeless deaths.' (Birmingham mail, Tragedy of '20 homeless deaths' in Birmingham revealed as people face one of [the] toughest winters yet, 2022)
As an outreach team, we have built a strong relationship with the rough sleeping community in Birmingham. We are trusted and on countless occasions have been there at critical moments to help people in their time of extreme desperation. From suicide prevention to calling emergency services and offering first aid, we have supported this marginalised community through the worst.
But now, we want to take our support even further...
From hundreds of hours of conversations with rough sleepers, we recognise that what many lack are the key relationships they need to build the courage to move forward. When living on the streets, so many get trapped in a toxic cycle of emotional damage leading to poor self-worth, often addiction and consequently they find it difficult to access the services available to them.
Many have become disillusioned with the services on offer because they either cannot relate to the support staff, they have had a bad experience, or they distrust the help that is on offer, even if the help is genuine.
That's where WE come in.
We want to save lives.
We have identified a way to address the emotional damage that the homeless face in order to build their self-worth which we are confident will lead them to being receptive to the help that's available.
By having a Wellbeing Centre, as a charity we believe we have the tolerance and the relationship to educate and mentor hard-to-reach rough sleepers and lead them to a positive mental state.
The Wellbeing Centre will provide an opportunity for the homeless to wash, receive food, education, mentorship and access to the provision they need to get off the streets. It will be there to capture new rough sleepers before they enter the toxic cycle and relieve the long-term individuals from the cycle.
The Wellbeing Centre will also provide ongoing support after a rough sleeper has been placed into accommodation to ensure that they stay there. Currently many return to the streets for the connections that they build with other rough sleepers, but by having a centre run by an already trusted source, they have the opportunity to connect with peers in a non-toxic environment all while receiving training to help them overcome their addictions, receive important life skills and employability skills so that they can eventually become independent and contributing members of the community.
We will connect with local employers to arrange training packages that provide real opportunities for those who overcome homelessness and we will remain a point of support even when they enter into the job market.
We have a clear vision, but we need your help.
We are fundraising to raise an initial 100, 000 so that we can get this project started at the earliest opportunity. We do not want another person to die on the streets.
We have located a building in Birmingham within close proximity to the rough sleepers.
100,000 will help us in year 1 to cover:
Utilities for the building dedicated to the project
Cutlery and crockery
Microwave or other professional food heating facility
Shower unit and installation
We are asking you, the community to help us to raise this money so that we can see the fulfilment of this project and in doing so, help us to eliminate the problem of rough sleeping in Birmingham.
Can you donate towards this project?
Please support us by donating what you can to this important and lifesaving cause.