This consultation came at a time when many changes were taking place in the city in relation to homeless support.
In our response, we shared feedback from people facing homelessness and highlighted the barriers they face when accessing healthcare in the city, including challenges with registering with the GP. We emphasised the importance of providing mental health support that is accessible and quickly available. We welcomed plans as part of the strategy to develop a communications plan to raise awareness about rough sleeping with the public. We indicated that this plan fell short of addressing the needs of rough sleepers. We suggested that the Council considers developing an engagement strategy that clearly indicates how they will engage with the public, various stakeholders but most importantly rough sleepers themselves.
We have had a request from the Homelessness Commissioning Lead at Birmingham City Council to further discuss our comments and how we can support the Council with ensuring that their strategy meets the needs of homeless people. In response to consultation feedback, the Council has included in the draft strategy that Service User Involvement will be a part of the evaluation and monitoring arrangements overseeing the delivery and development of the strategy. This will be delivered by drawing upon the new and existing service user groups, experts by experience and peer mentor programmes that have been developed across the city.