Video: Support For Rough Sleepers

The Good Shepherd’s work as part of a city-wide team effort to help accommodate rough sleepers during the pandemic has been featured on BBC’s Midlands Today.

The government’s ‘Everyone In’ campaign when Covid-19 first arrived saw many different charities and agencies work with the City of Wolverhampton Council to provide emergency accommodation for rough sleepers.

The Good Shepherd was one of those charities and has helped many of those who were put up in a hotel to find their own accommodation over the last 12 months.

Government figures released recently based on one night each year showed there was a 62 per cent fall across the West Midlands from 2019 to 2020.

“After Covid arrived, we had all the homeless people of Wolverhampton under one roof and all the different agencies able to step in and deal with all the issues and all the problems,” says Paul Burns, a Housing First project worker with the Good Shepherd.

Head of Operations Tom Hayden says the availability of different services to those who were temporarily ‘housed’ in the hotel had a positive impact on the people needing help.

“A lot of the people we work with have experienced trauma, whether that is childhood trauma or trauma linked to street homelessness,” said Tom.

“It is about making sure that we bring in mental health support and emotional support, getting all the help that they need and the opportunities to thrive and move on.”

Neil, who has been supported by the Good Shepherd, also featured in the video as he now has accommodation having been a rough sleeper, on and off, for the last three decades.

“This is a chance to look forward once again with better things to come – I can’t wait,” he said.

With thanks to BBC Midlands Today, the full report can be viewed below.

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