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24 June 2020

The government announced today that it will invest £105 million to prevent rough sleepers returning to the streets. This follows warnings from Glass Door and other homeless charities that thousands of individuals risked being made street homeless again when the hotels where they were self-isolating opened again for normal business.

Glass Door staff responded to this news in the Financial Times, The Big Issue and the Independent live news feed.

In the Financial Times

Senior caseworker Neil Parkinson spoke to social affairs correspondent Robert Wright about the future for those currently sheltering in hotels.

Neil describes how the extra funding will allow breathing space for those who would be heading back to the streets in a few weeks' time. But he also flagged that only 50 hotel guests have received offers of longer-term housing out of the 200 individuals Glass Door has been working with:

Many are facing huge barriers and there is no clear path for them.

Journalist Robert also spoke to a former shelter guest for the article. Robert wrote:

"As he was dealing with this sudden change to his circumstances, Waitley (pseudonym) also became part of an effort to stamp out homelessness that would have been unthinkable just weeks before. The charity Glass Door, which organised the shelters where he had been sleeping, found him a space in a hotel under a hastily devised emergency plan funded by central government and the Greater London Authority."

In the Big Issue and the Independent

CEO Lucy Abraham told The Big Issue that she welcomed this new funding but that clarity is needed:

We are facing an historic opportunity to build on the progress made in the past three months, and we hope this commitment of funding will support thousands of people into longer-term housing.

“Many people we work with have not been eligible for support in the past, despite living and working in the UK legally. We hope this announcement will usher in a new commitment to support all, regardless of immigration status."

“I think the progress made in the last few months has shown us that sifting and sorting people based on complicated criteria wastes precious time and resources. Everyone is worthy of safe housing."

And while this commitment will hopefully offer a lifeline for many facing eviction from hotels, we also need to remember the hundreds of people who are becoming newly homeless every week and all those who are still on the street.

Her comments were also included in the Independent's live news feed shortly after the announcement about the new funding was made.

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