On Saturday 21st March, national homelessness charity, Crisis launched In This Together, a campaign to raise funds for people who are homeless and the local charities that support them who are struggling more than ever in the Coronavirus outbreak.
It doesn’t take a genius to work out that rough sleepers are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus. They are in fact three times more likely to experience a chronic health condition as a direct result of being homeless. They are also not in a position to follow government guidelines on regularly washing hands and self-isolating.
Crisis has quickly reacted to the fast-changing situation that the country now finds itself in with their In This Together campaign. They are providing phones loaded with credit to homeless people so that they can continue to receive support and advice and their staff have been delivering care packages filled with food, hand sanitiser and hard copies of the latest government advice to people sleeping on the streets and in temporary accommodation.
They have also set up a series of emergency grants to help fellow local homeless charities in their continuing efforts to deliver night shelters and other vital services.
In addition they are also lobbying the government to take emergency measures to protect homeless people. On the 17th March, Crisis and other homeless charities, St Mungo’s, Centrepoint, Homeless Link and Shelter Cymru wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and First Minister Mark Drakeford calling for a detailed plan on how to ensure people experiencing homelessness can access self-contained accommodation and safely self-isolate.
Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis, said: “The generosity and resolve of the British public at this time is inspiring. So many people have been in touch to say that they are especially worried about the impact of coronavirus on people who are homeless – and are asking what they can do to help.
“In recent days we’ve had to postpone a number of fundraising events and temporarily close our shops. Now more than ever we value donations to keep our frontline services running, and to support smaller, local homelessness charities with their emergency response in these unprecedented circumstances. We know that with the public’s support we can protect people facing homelessness from the worst effects of this outbreak.”