Homeless on agenda at city debate
A RESTAURANT in Birmingham’s business district will be addressing the growing issue of homelessness in the West Midlands at an event next month.
Opus, in Cornwall Street, is hosting its fourth ‘In Conversation With’ and the panel includes Jean Templeton, chairman of the West Midlands Combined Authority’s homeless taskforce, and Birmingham GP Judith Yates, founding member of the Independent Consortium on Drug Consumption Rooms.
‘Homelessness in the West Midlands – it’s time for systemic change’ will be chaired by Birmingham Post & Mail editor Marc Reeves, and has been prompted by the huge rise in rough sleeping around Birmingham city centre.
The other panellists will be Marcus Casey, from Highway Traffic Management, Lorna Gavin, from law firm Gowling WLG, and Coun Sharon Thompson, ambassador for addressing homelessness and rough sleeping at Birmingham City Council.
Opus director Ann Tonks said: “There is far too much homelessness in our region. There are people visibly sleeping rough around the city centre and I know many businesses want to contribute to the big efforts that are being made to help the homeless but, beyond charitable donations, are unsure on the best way to help.
“This is such an important and challenging subject to focus on and we expect the audience members to ask hard-hitting questions during the evening.
“We are keen to ensure the audience goes away far better informed about the multiple issues that contribute to homelessness in the region, have a clear sense of how they might be able to help and direct their support fruitfully.”
The event starts at 5.30pm on Monday October 9. Tickets are free but must be booked in advance from www.eventbrite.co.uk.