HOMELESSNESS in Worcester is too big a problem for one group to solve so a united strategy has been launched.

Worcester Cares brings together St Paul’s Hostel and Maggs Day Centre, police, businesses, churches, Worcester BID and Worcester City Council.

The seed was sown last autumn when the Worcester City Homeless and Vulnerable People forum (known as ‘The Forum’) brought together charities and council and health services in one place.

The hope is that a more united approach will better co-ordinate the support available for homeless people.

A spokesman for Worcester Cares said: “Many people who find themselves on the street have unmet care and support needs. Those of us who work directly with them know this through the work we do every day. Some of their problems are complex and do take time to solve. Some have a background of childhood abuse or neglect. Quite a few have had alcoholic or violent parents. Poor physical health can be obvious, but there are hidden mental health illnesses, which often lead to and are made worse by drug and drink addictions.”

The public is urged to support the group by telling Street Link if they see a homeless person, using the app to note down where a person is, or by visiting streetlink.org.uk or calling 0300 500 09145.

They can also direct them to the support and help offered by Worcester Cares through Magg’s Day Centre, St Paul’s Hostel and Caring for Communities (CCP). Support is also available at the Hive and by calling 01905 722589.

Donations to Worcester Cares are also being encouraged with £2 paying for a meal and £5 for services to get someone off the street. Donate £2 by texting WORC02 or £5 by texting WORC05 to 70070. Volunteering at Maggs Day Centre, CCP, Swanswell or St Paul’s Hostel are other ways to help.

A spokesman for the group said: “No single organisation can tackle these problems alone. Worcester Cares brings together local charities, the police, local businesses, the city council, churches and many other organisations to coordinate their efforts and work. Whether a person is rough sleeping, begging or street drinking, all the Worcester Cares organisations will work together to help the person off the street.

“The city already has an infrastructure to support people but as the problem has increased, public resources have not kept pace. It is now more important than ever to coordinate the activities of local authorities, and other public and voluntary organisations, so that we do not duplicate or waste resources.”