Helping us to support rough sleepers

Published Friday, 10 July 2020

All known rough sleepers in Coventry, including people with No Recourse to Public Funds, continue to be offered accommodation as part of the city’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Change into action

The ambitious programme began on 30 March. Since then the three night shelters have been closed, and the occupants have been accommodated elsewhere.

A total of 158 individuals have been accommodated with 98 currently being housed. Thirty nine people have already moved into longer term accommodation.

Housing agencies estimate that between three to five people are sleeping rough in the city on any one night and there is a flow of new people onto the streets.

The outreach team are responding to sightings of new rough sleepers whilst still engaging with those who have previously refused accommodation.

The team is also asking the public who may wish to donate money to rough sleepers to provide support through Change into Action.

The donations scheme acts as a safe and secure way for members of the public and businesses to donate and support existing organisations that help rough sleepers to not only find accommodation and housing, but also employment, skills, mental health support and drug and alcohol rehabilitation via partners.

To make a donation visit the Change into Action website.

Anyone concerned about someone sleeping rough in Coventry, can send
an alert via the StreetLink website, or call 0300 500 0914. The details provided are sent to the outreach service in Coventry to help them find the individual and connect them to support.

Where people are being asked to leave accommodation (for example by friends or family) the team are working to keep people in this accommodation where it is safe for them to remain there.

Cllr Tariq Khan, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, said: “Donations made through Change into Action offer emergency support now, and also help towards long-lasting changes so that people can get the support they need and be helped to access permanent housing and support, creating better life opportunities.

“Since the outbreak of COVID-19 our teams have been working hard to make sure that every single rough sleeper in the city has access to safe, secure accommodation and any other help they might need – whether that’s help with a CV, health and wellbeing plans or assistance to set up a home.”

All of the people being accommodated due to COVID-19 have a move-on plan that considers the housing options available to that individual that would best meet their longer term need and ensure that they don’t return to the streets.

The Council Rough Sleeping Outreach Team has increased in size from three people to nine in the last couple of months. The outreach team continue to meet customers face-to-face and undertake outreach five days a week as well as visit the them in hotels and other temporary accommodation.

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