PEOPLE across the borough are being asked to help solve the problem of homelessness by making online donations rather than giving cash directly to rough sleepers.

Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, stopped off in Stourbridge today (Wednesday September 8) to launch a regional alternative giving campaign called Change into Action which encourages the public to donate via a website rather than by giving spare change to people on the streets.

Money donated by people in the borough will be received by Dudley Council for Voluntary Service (DCVS) which will work with the council and Churches Housing Association of Dudley and District (CHADD), a small charitable housing association based in Dudley, to distribute the donations.

They will use the money to help people in financial hardship, those experiencing food poverty and fuel poverty to help prevent the cycle of homelessness.

They will also help young people, young parents and victims of domestic abuse with essential items such appliances and furniture to enable them to set up a new safe long-term home.

CHADD will also work with other local agencies to spend donations where they are needed most, to help give rough sleepers proactive support and financial help to move away from sleeping rough and into longer term housing.

Dudley Council is the latest local authority to sign up to the campaign and councillor Laura Taylor-Childs, the authority's cabinet member for housing and community services, said: "Traditionally Dudley has a low number of rough sleepers, but we do have people who are generally known to us who are on streets and asking people for change.

"Often these people are not rough sleepers, but we do know they are in need of some support to bring about positive changes in their lives and remove the need to sit on the streets asking for money.

"Some of the people in this situation have been helped through our Housing First project and for others we try and engage with them through our homelessness prevention team.

"While we welcome people’s generosity and we know they have the best intentions, often the money they give perhaps for food or a hot drink will be used for something else entirely. This scheme is about maintaining that generosity but channelling donations into a good cause that can make positive changes and truly help people.

"As we head towards the autumn and winter months, please consider donating through this project and help us turn your change into positive action."

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said he was "delighted" to see Dudley join Birmingham, Coventry, Sandwell, Solihull and Walsall in adopting Change into Action, which was first introduced in 2017.

He added: "The scheme offers an alternative way to help, with people knowing that their donation will directly make a difference to the lives of those who are sleeping rough or at risk of homelessness in their local area.

"Since 2017 Change into Action has supported more than 500 individuals across the West Midlands to make that move away from the streets, and I am sure the generous residents of Dudley will support this initiative."

Anna Walsh, chief executive officer at CHADD, added: "Providing a home is more than just bricks and mortar and these donations will enable us to ensure people are practically set up to thrive, and to recover and rebuild after homelessness."

The Change into Action website can also be used to report the location of anyone thought to be sleeping rough so they can be connected to local support services.

To make a donation or find out more go to

Rough sleepers can also be reported by calling Dudley’s rough sleepers helpline 0300 555 0030.