Two of the current Councillors of the Ladywood Ward have formed “The Ladywood Living With Hardship Initiative”.
This is explained in a statement issued by Councillors Albert Bore and Kath Hartley.
The area covered by the ward was revised in 2016 and local elections will be held on 3 May 2018 to decide on the two Councillors for the next 4 years.
The statement by the current Councillors – Albert Bore and Kath Hartley – reads:
The Ladywood Living With Hardship Initiative
Rough sleeping, living on the streets, homelessness and hardship affect us all in one way or another. The impact for those who live rough is obvious: misery, ill-health and possible early death. For the rest of us it is about acknowledging how addiction, mental illness, poverty and personal disasters can lead to this situation. We are troubled by anti-social behaviour, begging, sleeping rough, drink and drug litter. For some Ladywood residents we know that they, too, are struggling and that life on the streets may not be far away for them.
That is why Ladywood Ward’s councillors decided to target our £48,000 Local Innovation Fund grant from the City Council at tackling the problem of rough-living and severe hardship in Ladywood.
We have set up the Ladywood Living with Hardship Initiative (LLHI) with the support of local police Neighbourhood Teams, Trident & Midland Heart Housing Associations, the Ladywood Community Project, Ladywood Furniture Project, Inner Circle Credit Union and the Suited for Success charity – the stakeholders.
Our initiative does not replicate the work of the Street Intervention Team set up by the City Council and other agencies. We will focus on the area beyond the core city centre. Our LLHI is about Ladywood residents and the people living rough or in severe hardship here in Ladywood who can be helped by actions by our stakeholders.
We are using the £48,000 from the City Council to open the Ladywood Living with Hardship Fund but aim to attract more funding through, for example, an alternative giving scheme so that, long term, we help get people off the streets and prevent local residents ending up there.
The Aims and Objectives for the LLHI have been agreed:
· To provide a source of funding that an individual within the Ladywood Ward who is homeless or at risk of being homeless can access in order to help that individual find shelter or adopt a more settled lifestyle.
· To provide this help to the homeless or individuals in need within Ladywood through agencies/charities operating within the Ladywood Ward (the stakeholders), by providing grants to these bodies to be used to assist the individual.
· To provide funding that will assist stakeholders to design out issues at a public realm location arising from begging, intimidation or drink/drug-fuelled anti-social behaviour, where those issues are causing a high impact to local residents and/or businesses.
· To discourage giving to people begging on the street, as this fails to address the root causes of rough living, homelessness or drug or alcohol addiction, by promoting an alternative giving scheme amongst Ladywood residents and businesses to provide funds for the Ladywood Living with Hardship Initiative.
Guidelines for the use of the fund by stakeholders have also been agreed and include:
· Individual applicants must be seeking accommodation or in the process of being housed or sustaining a tenancy within Ladywood Ward, so as to adopt a more settled lifestyle.
· Individual applicants will normally be allowed one application per year.
Grant applications, normally to a maximum of £100, should be made to a stakeholder agency/charity recognised by the Ladywood Living with Hardship Initiative. (Examples of what a grant could be used for would be for personal or household items, bus tickets to attend support sessions or interviews, renewing ID documents to help secure accommodation or start a new job, training courses for a specified reason.)
· The stakeholder agency/charity will make use of the Fund previously allocated to that agency/charity only when the individual applicant is unable to access other sources of help.
We hope that this initiative will have your support. We intend to make a difference to as many as possible individuals in Ladywood who are experiencing hardship and as soon as possible, once the grant money has been released by the City Council.