£3.2m emergency coronavirus support for rough sleepers

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has announced a £3.2 million emergency funding to help rough sleepers to self-isolate.

The funding, in addition to the £492 million committed in 2020 to 2021, will be available to all local authorities in England and will reimburse them for the cost of providing accommodation and services to those sleeping on the streets to help them successfully self-isolate.

Jenrick stated that the initial emergency response funding will ensure swift support is offered to people who are unable to self-isolate, such as those staying in night shelters or assessment hubs, as well as people who are currently sleeping rough.

He said: “Public safety and protecting the most vulnerable people in society from coronavirus is this government’s top priority. We are working closely with councils and charities to ensure they have the support they need throughout this period. The initial funding that I’ve announced today will ensure councils are able to put emergency measures in place to help some of the most vulnerable people in our society to successfully self-isolate. I would urge anyone who is concerned about someone sleeping rough to use the government’s StreetLink app to alert local support services who can reach out to those in need at this difficult time.”

Public Health England (PHE) has also released guidance for providers of hostels and day centres on how to handle suspected cases of coronavirus to assist staff and visitors in dealing with the impact of the virus. This includes what centres and hostels should do if they have had a confirmed case, as well guidance on the use of shared spaces, what to do if anyone becomes unwell on site with the symptoms, as well as special considerations for residents and users, who are drug or alcohol users and may be more vulnerable to the effects of the virus.