Demand comes as temperatures plummet
Dudley North MP Ian Austin is calling for community rooms in fire stations, empty police stations and other publicly-owned buildings to be opened up for rough sleepers as temperatures plummet this week.
He says the Mayor of Manchester, Andy Burnham, has arranged for fire stations and other buildings to be opened up to get homeless people off the streets in freezing temperatures and wants his counterpart in the West Midlands, Andy Street, and other public bodies in the region to do the same.
He says that police stations that have been closed could be made available as emergency shelters, as well as community rooms in fire stations or waiting rooms in hospitals which are already open through the night and which homeless people made ill by freezing temperatures would end up using anyway.
With plummeting temperatures and snow forecast for this week Austin has called for the buildings to house rough sleepers, taking them off the streets and giving them shelter in the bad weather.
Ian Austin said:
“In January a homeless man died in a tent on derelict land in Dudley. It is a complete and utter disgrace that people are dying on the streets in 2017.
“With the number of people sleeping rough in the West Midlands soaring, we need new ideas and the public sector working together to get people off the streets when temperatures plummet.
“The Mayor of Manchester has opened up community rooms in fire stations and called for other public buildings to open their doors to the homeless so why can’t the Mayor in the West Midlands do the same?
“His target for abolishing rough sleeping is not for nearly ten years, exactly the same as the government’s but what is the point of having a Mayor if we are not going to have new ideas and get the public sector working together to tackle problems in the region?”