7 May 2020
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council posted on 6th May that many people who were rough sleeping or faced homelessness across the area and who have been temporarily housed in response to the Covid-19 lockdown in March are being supported into more longer-term sustainable accommodation.
Since the Covid-19 lockdown the Council has helped 222 people into temporary accommodation, some of whom were rough sleeping and some who were at risk of ending up on the streets due to sofa surfing or being in accommodation such as shared housing where self-isolation was not possible.
Of those individuals in emergency temporary accommodation, 44 people have been supported to move on from B&Bs into more sustainable long-term accommodation.
Councillor Kieron Wilson, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “The Coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdown presented us with the huge challenge of supporting those who were sleeping rough in our towns or were facing homelessness, into temporary accommodation. Thanks to the ongoing hard work of our housing teams and St Mungo’s who deliver our outreach service we were able to house the large majority with just a small number currently not accepting help.
“This current situation has presented us with a set of circumstances where we are able to engage with individuals on a regular basis and work closely with them to establish what ongoing support they require and ways in which we can help them into more longer-term accommodation. In normal circumstances this would not always be possible and so it is welcomed to see some positive outcomes coming from this difficult crisis.”
The team is continuing to support everyone who is in accommodation throughout this period, contacting them regularly and ensuring they have everything they need. We are working with many partner agencies to make sure they are linked to the support they need. Faithworks, YMCA and faith partners are working together to provide additional food provision for those in temporary accommodation.
The outreach team will continue to work with people who continue to rough sleep to encourage them to accept support. All have been offered housing but there are some who continue to not accept the housing offers available.
Green Party Councillor Chris Rigby said “I'm incredibly proud of everyone who's been working on this, which is especially tricky given the current circumstances”.
If you are concerned for someone who is rough sleeping, please call St Mungo’s team on 01202 315962 or report to: www.streetlink.org.uk
BCP Council homeless help and guidance continues to be available over the phone: 01202 451457.
You can read the Council report here.