4 May 2020

Glass Door chief operating officer Lucy Abraham and senior comms manager Melissa Kerschen spoke on BBC broadcasts this weekend about the rising number of people becoming homeless. Lucy was then quoted in a story on BBC News Online about the increased demand for food on the streets.

On BBC Politics England

BBC Presenter Roger Johnson interviewed Melissa live on BBC Politics England this Sunday 3 May. Watch her discussion back from 18 minutes onwards here.

Roger asked Melissa whether the money and guidance that the government provided to councils has made an impact.

Melissa said:

"Many people have been placed in hotels and we shouldn't take away from the great successes that have happened already. But we're finding that many people are still waiting for help. Whether from the street outreach teams or from local councils. 

"One gentleman was staying in a hostel. He was turfed out about three weeks ago. He was doing odd jobs cash in hand. Obviously his income has now completely dried up. So for the past three weeks, he has been on the street. And he's gone to the council and been told that he's not eligible because he can't prove that he lived in the country for more than five years."

So we have every reason to believe that the councils are still applying eligibility criteria despite the directive to no longer apply this.

"However, I recognise that councils are in a tight spot. It is not clear where the money is coming from. They haven't been given enough resources and clear direction on how to make that happen."

We are looking down the road at six months time. We are bracing ourselves for what could be an onslaught of people who need support.

On BBC London News

COO Lucy Abraham spoke to BBC London News at 6pm yesterday evening:

There is a new flow of people now onto the streets. People that previously worked in precarious jobs such as the hospitality industry or agency jobs - who don't have access to the furlough scheme. They find themselves on the street very quickly.

"We do expect that the numbers are going to carry on rising in the coming months."

Lucy's words were also included in a BBC News story online about the rise in demand for food from people sleeping in the streets.


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