A Wolverhampton police officer has been given an awards nod for working alongside the council’s homeless team on the health and safety of rough sleepers in makeshift accommodation.
The pandemic has fuelled the homelessness crisis in the city with the council taking on a hotel to accommodate those who were rough sleeping.
PC Abigail Chandler has come across some challenging situations such as drug dealers turning up at the hotel to target vulnerable people or taking rough sleepers to get a COVID test after becoming symptomatic since the Coronavirus outbreak.
One of the biggest challenges Abigail also faced was building up trust, confidence and respect with the homeless community.
PC Abigail Chandler told Birmingham Eastside: “I was thrilled to be nominated for this award as it was generated by one of the Partner Agencies that I work with closely.
All of the partners are passionate about their roles and they want to help make life better”.
West Midlands Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Waheed Saleem said:
“I am thrilled that PC Abigail Chandler has been recognized for her work with supporting the homeless community in Wolverhampton. PC Chandler is an example of the very best of the West Midlands Police and is incredibly worthy of being shortlisted for an Oustanding Citizens Award”.
In Wolverhampton the number of rough sleepers has fallen by 88% from 33 in April 2018 to 4 in January 2021.
Wolverhampton City Council has helped to set up a contactless donation point in a bid to tackle homelessness in Wolverhampton in November last year, with more than £24,000 being raised.
In recent months the council secured a nearly £200,000 grant in funding to boost its work in tackling rough sleeping.
This funding will provide short-term accommodation to 22 people who are either rough sleeping or who are at risk for rough sleeping.
The Oustanding Citizens Awards will take place this Friday.