Many people are concerned about how homeless people are being supported during the Covid 19 outbreak, particularly those who are sleeping rough and also concerns about how they are accessing food during the lockdown.
Below is a summary of action taken:
Taskforce to bring partners together
St Martins coordinates an operational task group to manage challenges in the delivery of the supported housing services. These meetings take place twice per week and are well attended by a range of partners, this information is then shared to aid communication across our sector.
Individual risk assessments
Pathways Norwich prepared a list of all people who had been seen sleeping rough in the 3 months prior to the lockdown and identified all that might be at risk, known sofa surfers and people due to leave prison. This list also identified those at greatest risk with underlying health conditions. This list formed the basis of Norwich City Council’s efforts to identify those that needed temporary accommodation to shield, or isolate and later in response to the government’s request to get everyone in.
Outreach continues in Norwich
Pathways Norwich have been doing outreach every day for a minimum of 4 hours, going to known rough sleeping sites as well as picking up referrals from professionals or members of the public who identify a sleep site in order to engage and find them housing. The Pathways telephone line has been diverted to Bishopbridge House to ensure that no calls are missed.
Drop-in provision for rough sleepers still open
The Pottergate Arc, run by The Salvation Army, is an essential service providing toilets, washing facilities, food and drink. The service remains open and is a safe and familiar place for homeless people to access practical and emotional support.
Everyone that has been placed in Norwich City Council temporary accommodation is provided with food to cover them for the day, paid for by the local authority and provided by services with the appropriate health registration certificates. This has been done in collaboration with The Feed, Soul Church and The Kings Centre.
Those placed in temporary accommodation are receiving daily support to manage their physical and mental wellbeing as part of the Pathways Norwich service. Additionally, and to ensure that ongoing support is provided, all those in temp accommodation will be allocated a support worker from within the Pathways Norwich service to provide ongoing support and develop a plan for move on once the lockdown has ended.
Responding to changing circumstances
There has been a collaborative approach across the districts, with Pathways leading on a daily meeting to identify people who are non-compliant or need additional support to safeguard them at this time. The daily meeting includes all district councils, police, probation, housing providers and other support services. This is to ensure that nobody is left out and will take account of all people due to leave prison within the coming weeks.