Funding to 'break the cycle of homelessness'

By on 02/08/2013 in Cllr Bedser, News
Cllr Steve Bedser

Cllr Steve Bedser

Families living in temporary bed and breakfast accommodation in Birmingham will be offered health support and financial management advice under a new scheme aiming to ‘break the cycle of homelessness’.

Birmingham City Council has secured almost £300,000 to reduce the use of bed and breakfast accommodation for homeless families in the city.

And in a groundbreaking new approach, families will be offered tailored support including:

  • nutritional advice (children and adults)
  • smoking cessation help
  • substance misuse support
  • Access to the award winning Be Active physical activity programme.

Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Steve Bedser, said: “We know that homelessness is often a symptom or indicator of other forms of health, wellbeing and economic exclusion.

“The sad truth is that vulnerable homeless people have often experienced many social problems, including poor health, alcohol and drug misuse and financial problems that make it difficult for them to keep a tenancy and can result in recurring homelessness.

“So we’re looking to tackle those issues head on with a package of measures designed to help some of the most vulnerable families in the city. In the current financial climate, this vital work is more important than ever and we’re delighted to have secured Government funding for the new approach.”

In addition to offering health and wellbeing support, housing advice workers will:

  • Source and secure additional accommodation, as both an alternative to B&B and as permanent housing solutions.
  • Work with families so that the offer of housing that is made to them is suitable for their requirements.
  • Explore alternative housing solutions for non-dependants living as members of larger family households when appropriate.
  • Review and overcome the legal obstacles that impede achieving the desired objectives for families.
  • Enable the provision of furniture packages to contribute to a successful move-on and to better address incidents of financial hardship.

Work will also be undertaken to ensure homeless adults understand key money management issues linked to sustaining a new permanent home: improving their financial confidence to cope better with budget management issues; understanding affordable warmth options and how to access affordable banking and credit services.

Cllr Bedser added: “Our overall aim is to reduce the number of families living in bed and breakfast accommodation to zero and to achieve that goal; we’re targeting the many factors that can send a family down that path.”

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