Bridging the gap with the city's homeless community

Students team up with SIFA Fireside

Three Envision teams have teamed up with Birmingham’s leading support charity SIFA Fireside to develop their project ideas for helping the city’s homeless.

Birmingham has some of the highest rates of homelessness in the country, a fact which has not gone unnoticed by the young people who live in the city and which has driven them to look at practical ways in which they can help.

The three Envision groups are; Enlightened from Small Heath School, SOS from Bishop Challoner and Danny and Feed from King Edward VI Handsworth. They each began their projects independently last year but have now began working together with SIFA to make sure their projects have a really meaningful and long lasting impact.

SIFA is Birmingham’s leading support charity which provides a robust service ranging from addressing everyday needs, such as food and showers, to counselling as well as practical support such as mock-interview sessions.

The teams spent the day sorting food and clothes in the donations cupboard and meeting service users to hear about their experiences of homelessness. Speaking in depth with the service users the young people heard each individual’s story, which varied considerably. They also discussed together how we can bridge the gap between the homeless and help reintegrate them within society.

The day was both enlightening and no doubt at times emotional.  Using their own learnings the groups now will translate them to others by creating a documentary which they plan to disseminate online, at school as well as to a potentially wider city audience.