More than 1,500 people are now homeless in Black Country and Staffordshire
More than 1,500 people are recorded as homeless in the Black Country, Staffordshire and Wyre Forest, according to new figures released by charity Shelter.
Walsall, Wolverhampton and Sandwell are all among the West Midlands’ ‘hotspot’ areas, with the highest levels of homelessness.
The charity says there are dozens of people sleeping on the streets across the region while hundreds of others are stuck in temporary accommodation, including hostels and B&Bs.
The number of people without somewhere to live in Walsall is 603 including 20 who are sleeping on the streets.
In Wolverhampton there are a total of 470 people recorded as homeless with 19 known to be rough sleepers.
While in Wyre Forest there are 215 people recorded as homeless with 11 spending nights on the streets.
The figures show there are 155 individuals without accommodation in Sandwell with 10 rough sleepers.
In Stafford the total number of people known not to have a home is 23 while in Cannock there are five people sleeping on the streets.
Shelter says the The number of people recorded as homeless in the whole of the West Midlands has reached 23,800 - an increase of more than 2,500 compared with 2017.
The charity has launched an urgent appeal in response to the statistics, saying they show 'the true scale of the region’s worsening housing crisis',
Vicky Hines, manager of Shelter’s Birmingham Hub, which helps people across the region, including the Black Country, said: “It’s unforgivable that thousands of people in the West Midlands have been swept up by the housing crisis and now have no place to call home.
"These new figures show that homelessness is having a devastating impact on the lives of people right across the region.
“Due to the perfect storm of spiralling rents, welfare cuts and a total lack of social housing, record numbers of people are sleeping out on the streets or stuck in the cramped confines of a hostel room.
"We desperately need action now to change tomorrow for the hundreds of thousands whose lives will be blighted by homelessness this winter.
“Shelter’s services have never been more needed.That’s why we’re asking the public to support us this winter so that we can answer as many calls as possible and have trained advisers on hand when people need them most.”