In aid of World Homeless Day, Brum-based charity LoveBrum took to social media to spread awareness of Birmingham’s increasing homelessness. The charity also donated £500 to two invaluable charities to help them continue the work they do to help the homeless population.

Birmingham currently holds the fourth highest rate of statutory homelessness in the UK, and 2016-17 saw 3,524 households fall into this category. Raising awareness is more important than ever, and LoveBrum took social media by storm in order to do so. As awareness can be equally as important as monetary donations, LoveBrum introduced a ‘pound per share’ campaign. This saw in 1,000 shares across the social media channels of LoveBrum and its ambassadors, leading to its donation of £1000 in total, giving £500 to two of the city’s organisations that go above and beyond for the homeless community.

The first of these charities is ‘Homeless Heroes,’ which ‘provides food, beverages and clothing to those most vulnerable, our homeless.’ Birmingham Mayor Andy Street recently volunteered with Homeless Heroes, offering hot food and drink to people on the streets. He afterwards took to Twitter, saying that ‘the commitment of the volunteers is truly humbling,’ once again proving the power of social media in raising awareness.

The second Birmingham charity to which LoveBrum donated is Tabor House Shelter, a collaborative organisation providing a place to stay for those who otherwise would be sleeping on the streets. The shelter provides food, drink and beds in order to cater for the most basic needs of Birmingham’s homeless community, and additionally it offers activities and support for those most vulnerable. The shelter is entirely volunteer-led, with volunteers offering their support in shifts wherever possible.

Saleem Ahmed of LoveBrum said the following:

LoveBrum is all about giving a ‘leg-up’ to and unearthing hidden gem projects in Birmingham, but it places equal if not higher importance on supporting vulnerable people within the city. A city is only as strong as its weakest link, and if we cannot offer support to those who need it, we cannot truly prosper. 

“We feel that both ‘Homeless Heroes’ and ‘Tabor House Shelter’ are extremely worthy causes, and we really admire the relentless effort they put into their charity work. We’re also delighted with the awareness that our social media campaign has created.”

The statistics are truly harrowing, and LoveBrum’s decision to focus on raising awareness and creating a buzz surrounding World Homeless Day, just as much as focusing on monetary donations, is exactly what the city needs in its plight to end homelessness.

Launched at the beginning of 2015, LoveBrum supports hidden gem projects across Birmingham that are often volunteer-led and that deliver real change. The charity aims to profile around 40 causes per year, with 12 receiving £2,000 funding complemented by a years’ business support. These projects are promoted as part of a new monthly vote, introduced for 2016, where members find out about a cause every week and vote for their favourite at the end of the month.

Tara Tomes