Coronavirus (COVID-19)—further winter support for rough sleepers announced

Coronavirus (COVID-19)—further winter support for rough sleepers announced

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has announced support measures for rough sleepers amid coronavirus (COVID-19) and the risks posed by life-threatening cold weather. Measures include a new £10m Cold Weather Fund to support councils in providing self-contained accommodation to rough sleepers, an additional £2m for faith and community groups to get rough sleepers into accommodation and comprehensive guidance to help shelters open and operate more safely.

The guidance for night shelters sets out 'operating principles to support commissioners, staff and volunteers of rough sleeping accommodation (night shelters) as well as rough sleepers themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic'. It also aims to help local authorities and providers to mitigate the risks of coronavirus in shelter settings. Shelters should only be opened after carrying out a detailed coronavirus risk assessment and as a last resort where not opening them would endanger lives. Principles have been drafted in partnership with Public Health England, the Department of Health and Social Care, Housing Justice and Homeless Link.

The night shelter guidance can be accessed here.

Source: Rough sleepers to be helped to keep safe this winter

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