Over 20,000 homeless in West Midlands, says charity - half of them children

More than 20,000 people are recorded as homeless in the West Midlands - with half being children, says homelessness charity Shelter.

Shelter, which broke down the Government data, said it amounted to one in 292 people being without a home as it called for action.

A total of 190 people are sleeping rough on any given night, with a further 18,980 in temporary accommodation, most of whom are families, said Shelter.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “The new year should be a time of hope, but this isn’t the case for the 20,400 homeless people in the West Midlands who are facing a truly bleak 2023. A cold doorway or a grotty hostel room is not a home, but this is reality for too many people today.

“Our frontline advisers are working tirelessly to help people who are desperate to escape homelessness - from the parents doing all they can to provide some shred of a normal family life while stuck in an emergency B&B, to the person terrified of another night sleeping rough.

“With private rents and living costs continuing to soar, thousands of people are not just facing a winter of worry, they are at risk of losing the roof over their head. At Shelter, we are bracing ourselves for a sharp rise in homelessness in 2023. More than ever, we will be relying on the public’s generosity to help us support and campaign for all those fighting for a safe home.”

Shelter is issuing an urgent appeal for public support as it braces for a sharp rise in homelessness in 2023. An average of 85 calls per day from people in the West Midlands are made to the charity’s emergency helpline.

Across England eight in 10 callers are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless – a figure which has increased by eight per cent since last year. And research by the charity has revealed the areas in the region where homelessness is the most prominent, with Birmingham, Coventry, and Solihull being the worst.

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