With World Homeless Day taking place on Saturday, a brand new start-up launches in Birmingham, aiming to get more people off the streets and into employment. Standing Tall will work with local businesses to match rough sleepers with stable jobs and provide tailored accommodation to help them into independent living.
Standing Tall is looking to partner with 20 Birmingham businesses over the next 12 months, to match people with living wage employment to help them feel valued, pay the bills and give them options again. The project will employ the individual for an initial period, after which they will be employed directly by the business.
The employee’s salary will be covered for the initial three months, covered by a combination of funding from the business itself and crowdfunding from the public and other businesses. The charity is looking to engage with businesses and the public in the run up to Christmas to raise these key funds.
Standing Tall has been founded by Christy Acton, who was previously at charity Father Hudson’s Care; a social care agency that runs projects that help people’s lives. One of Christy’s key responsibilities was overseeing Tabor House, the Digbeth-based accommodation project that helps rough sleepers off the streets and into permanent living through its signature strength-based mentoring.
Commenting on the charity’s launch, Christy says:
“I am so excited to launch Standing Tall on World Homeless Day; a time when we’ll all be placing a spotlight on the impact of homelessness in the city and the responsibility that we all have to help our fellow residents. We have been working hard behind the scenes for the past two years and we’re raring to go!
We know that for many people experiencing homelessness, securing viable employment is the big game changer. Securing a job is the first key step to enable somebody to move off the streets and into independent living, so Standing Tall is all about facilitating those connections and matching people with local businesses. As human beings, everyone has a right to a safe and stable home to build a life and thrive, and we need to start making this happen for more people!”
In addition to employment, Standing Tall will also provide a tailored accommodation provision to enable people to move away from the street for good. As part of this service, Standing Tall is looking for ‘Camerados’; Birmingham residents who will be selected, trained and paid to provide a room and appropriate support for an individual for the initial period as they move off the street.
“We have ambitious plans for the future to help more people experiencing homelessness into work and we also plan to set up a number of high quality products and services, all provided by people who have previously experiencing homelessness, too. My callout this month, as we launch the project, is for any Birmingham businesses who have a job role that Standing Tall can recruit for, to get in touch and help us have a significant impact in our first month,” Christy, the project’s director, concludes.