YMCA Birmingham appoint youngest ever member to board of trustees

A young person supported by YMCA Birmingham has this year been appointed to the board of trustees. Gabriel Imevbore, 22, came to YMCA Birmingham after a family relationship breakdown meant he was homeless and was placed in emergency accommodation. YMCA Birmingham gave Gabriel the home he needed.



We need to talk about… Safeguarding Adult Reviews

If you were found dead in the street you might expect that there would be a full investigation. I imagine that most of us would want to know that lessons were learned so that our death, however tragic, was not in vain. Perhaps you imagine teams of concerned social workers and police officers trawling through…



We need to talk about… Homeless Deaths

Earlier this week (8th September 2018), The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported that there were at least 449 deaths of homeless people last year. This is significant, not just because of the shocking number that was revealed, but because the BIJ investigation drew attention to the fact that there was no centralised recording of homeless deaths taking place. It…



Bad managers drive out talented staff

In a recent article, published by the Institute of Leadership and Management, it was noted that 80% of employees have experienced either poor management or a poor manager at least once during their career. What’s more the survey, which formed the basis of the article, found that 73% of employees who have experienced poor management have considered leaving a job,…



We need to talk about… the housing benefit bill.

The government has made great play over recent years of its plans to reduce the benefits bill. A key target in this campaign has been housing benefit (HB) which attracted George Osborne’s ire by rising from less than £15bn in 2006/7 to £20bn by the time he became chancellor in 2010. People trying to defend…



Northfield Hostel – A Big Refurbishment, and a New Name

YMCA Birmingham’s Northfield site is undergoing a major £3.6m refurbishment to make it fit for purpose for the next 50 years. Originally opened in the early 1960s to provide a safe welcoming home for young men moving into Birmingham in search of work, for the past 20 years YMCA Northfield has been providing supported housing…



We need to talk about… The rise in rough sleeping

On a recent visit to a housing project in Glasgow the new government minister with responsibility for homelessness, Heather Wheeler, admitted that she “didn’t know” the reasons for the rise in rough sleeping that has occurred in each of the last seven years. In a spirit of helpfulness, it seems only fair that I enlighten…



We need to talk about… Cyrille Regis

There have been many things written and said about Cyrille Regis since his untimely death was announced on Monday, but one comment stuck with me. It came from local MEP Siôn Simon who said “Lots of footballers are good, but very few are important. Cyrille Regis was both.” It struck a chord with me because…



Budget response

Today the chancellor has announced that £44bn will be used to build 300,000 new homes every year by the mid-2020s. As someone who has worked in the field of housing and homelessness for twenty-five years I welcome this commitment. There is no doubt that the government’s own figures show that homelessness and rough sleeping have…