In March of this year (2018), the Birmingham Mail published an interview with Tracey Patterson of Birmingham’s Homeless Support Team (BHST). Tracey observed that 2018 has been ‘the worse year yet’ in terms of rough sleeping (link to the article here: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/homelessness-worst-ever-been-birmingham-14437159).
What is also notable is that Tracey had ‘never seen so many young people on the streets’ as well. BHST, which Tracey set up alongside her husband Barrington, are a local charity which give out emergency supplies of essentials to rough sleepers in the city. Organisations such as BHST are at the front-line of the city’s homelessness crisis, and are some of the best placed people to give early warning to statutory organisations and wider society. At The Future Melting Pot, we are always eager to gather information from sources that work face-to-face with homeless people. Our forthcoming research project on will centre the experiences of young homeless people themselves and those who interact with them most closely. This is arguably the best way to ensure that policy reflects peoples’ lived experiences.
Organisations such as BHST should be applauded for the work they do, often without the recognition or funding of larger charities. They are on twitter @BhamHST
Photo Credit: Birmingham Post