Caritas Anchor House

Working at the heart of homelessness

Additional £10million government funding announced to help those rough sleeping

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Additional £10million government funding announced to help those rough sleeping

13th January 2021
With rising infection rates and colder weather expected, the Government has announced a much welcomed additional funding to help house those who are rough sleeping and to get them registered with a GP to access the new vaccine. The ban on bailiff enforced evictions has also been extended.

The Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick announced last week an additional £10 million fund for all councils in England to redouble their efforts to help accommodate all those who are currently sleeping rough and to ensure they register with a GP. Councils will then work closely with local heath partners to make sure those sleeping rough are able to access the COVID-19 vaccine in line with the priority groups outlines by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

Councils have also been asked to reach out again to those who have previously refused help as we enter the most dangerous months of the pandemic so far with rising infection rates and colder weather due.

There were also new national restrictions announced to help the most vulnerable renters, with an extension to the ban on bailiff evictions for all but the most egregious cases for at least six weeks.

This extra funding builds on the successes of the ‘Everyone In’ initiative introduced earlier this year which meant 90% of homeless people were housed at the start of the pandemic. Many of our own residents benefited from the ‘Everyone In’ scheme earlier this year.

One of these residents was Anne, who was living in London and working as a waitress in a five-star hotel, when without notice, her landlord sold her home. “I went from living a normal life with a job I loved, to having nothing – almost overnight. I had nowhere to go and no choice but to sleep on the streets. But it was so scary. As a woman, I felt so vulnerable and struggled to sleep for fear of what might happen to me. I slept rough for three months before being put up in a hotel during the Covid-19 lockdown. Now, I’m so happy to have a room of my own at Caritas Anchor House. I’ve been here for a few weeks now, and it feels like a big family. I have a bedroom, a bathroom, access to food and a kitchen. But most importantly, there are people here that are supporting me.”

Amanda Dubarry, Chief Executive, welcomed the additional funding: “This is currently the most dangerous moment in the pandemic for those experiencing homelessness or sleeping rough. It is great to see the Government responding with a new £10 million fund to get all those sleeping rough into safe accommodation and ensure they register with a GP so they can access the vaccine. We hope the Government will follow up this renewed funding with a long term strategy to support people off the streets and end rough sleeping. For now we look forward to working with local organisations around East London to continue building on the successes that we saw earlier in the year with the ‘Everyone In’ scheme.”

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