FOLLOWING the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus, Cambridge City Council has been working hard to implement government guidance to support rough sleepers or those at risk of rough sleeping who will be unable to self-isolate, to make sure that accommodation and support are available.
The council has identified some of its own properties, and is in discussions with housing associations, hoteliers, bed and breakfast providers and some private landlords to ensure that the council is in a position to respond to demand as it arises.
The council is working proactively with organisations who support homeless people, to ensure that both the individuals and the agencies working with them get the support that they need at this difficult time.
Organisations providing front-line homeless hostel and day centre services may have individual cases where self-isolation is extremely problematic. Council officers are available to provide advice to these organisations and accommodation options where necessary.
Services on the streets for rough sleepers are continuing to operate and the council is working closely with these services to ensure rough sleepers are kept safe by offering the routes to housing and support that they need. Anyone concerned about somebody sleeping rough at this time can notify the council via the website www.streetlink.org.uk or by phoning Streetlink on 0300 500 0914.
In the meantime, the council’s broader Housing Advice services continue. If any resident is threatened with homelessness during the coronavirus outbreak, they can contact the council on 01223 457918.
Cllr Richard Johnson, Executive Councillor for Housing said: ”Rough sleepers represent some of the most vulnerable members of our community. Many have underlying health conditions and dependencies which may make them more susceptible to coronavirus. Their situation does also not make self-isolation straightforward.
“They need the council and its partners more than ever at this time. We need to be on the front foot in this vital effort to save lives, and to that end the council is working closely with local organisations to ensure that not only properties, but follow-up support services to these groups, are available.”