4 September 2020

CEO Lucy Abraham speaks to Chris York of the Huffington Post about the measures needed to tackle the impending homelessness crisis this winter. Read the full article online.


No shared night shelters

Lucy explains why we cannot run our shelters as normal this winter season:

"The current advice is that accommodation with communal airspace is not allowed because of the risk of the spread of Covid. So that means any shared night shelters, dormitory-style accommodation can’t operate under current government advice guidelines".

Our normal service would be five night shelters on any one night of the winter, operating across London and we would normally accommodate 170 people every night.

So our challenge now is what do we provide to people? And that’s not just us – there are thousands of night shelter places across the country.

New rough sleepers

With the furlough scheme and eviction ban due to end over the coming months, Lucy predicts that there will be a huge increase in rough sleeping as a result:

We know the demand is going to be there this winter. We’re already seeing people who are losing their jobs because of Covid.

“I strongly believe that the economic impact of Covid at the moment is just being kicked down the road.”

Solutions?

Both Lucy and Jon Glackin from Streets Kitchen say that more space, funding and guidance is needed to tackle the impending homelessness crisis.

Lucy adds:

I think the real challenge is, without the central pan-London response that there was – like the GLA procuring a number of hotels and running them on scale – that the funding just won’t be enough.


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