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120 meals delivered daily to rough sleepers

Published Monday, 08 June 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Council and its partners have continued to support rough sleepers in the city.

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The Council’s Outreach team, working alongside The Salvation Army, and other agencies have helped more than 100 rough sleepers from sleeping on the streets or living in night shelters into temporary accommodation.

The team, which recently gained six new Outreach Workers, have been able to do this by maintaining contact with those sleeping rough throughout the pandemic.

For a number of weeks volunteers from Langar Aid have been delivering over 120 meals a day to those street homeless who have been moved into temporary accommodation because of the COVID-19 outbreak, to ensure that everyone has access to food.

Cllr Tariq Khan, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, said: “It is a very difficult time for everyone and can be even more worrying if you are at risk of homelessness or are already homeless or rough sleeping.

“That’s why I’m proud of the hard work that is being done in the city by our homelessness prevention service and our outreach team. It can’t be understated how big of an achievement it is to support this many rough sleepers off the street.

“However, getting rough sleepers off the streets into temporary accommodation is only the start. We must make sure they are supported with access to food and services, so they stay in that accommodation.

“Which is why I want to say a special thanks to Langar Aid. It’s a huge undertaking to deliver 120 meals every day – seven days a week - but they’ve risen to the challenge and we’re all grateful for their support.”

Inderjit Singh, speaking on behalf of Langar Aid, said: “During this pandemic, it has been overwhelming to see the city come together.

“We have a dedicated and selfless team of volunteers who are the back bone of Langar Aid. Following the Sikh Principle of "Share Your Food", we believe it is our duty to provide support to those in need.

"Recognising the Whole Human Race as One"

The Council and other agencies have been addressing rough sleeping with the help of a homelessness prevention service that has been operating for the past two years; and agencies working from the Steps for Change venue in the City Arcade and other locations.

The Council also works with charities, churches and agencies across the city to prevent homelessness and to secure accommodation for those who end up as homeless.

Coventry also has a Homeless Forum of 40+ agencies now meeting regularly.

Since August 2019 the Housing First scheme, was set up and has found accommodation with support for 22 long term entrenched rough sleepers who have complex needs.

The Council is also working with its housing association partners to develop new properties in the city.

Public support

People should make their own choice about how they wish to provide support to rough sleepers’, but the best way is to give to charities who help street homeless long term.

Change into Action is an alternative giving scheme supporting local specialist charities and street teams working to change the circumstances of rough sleepers and those at risk of rough sleeping in Coventry.

A web page has been set up to coordinate public donations, with Feeding Coventry - a local charity, working to distribute the money raised by the public, directly to rough sleepers. 

If you see someone you think is rough sleeping you can report this via Street Link.

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