Rough sleepers are an extremely vulnerable group and are particularly susceptible to COVID-19 due to the prevalence of underlying health conditions, among other factors.
Following the recent Government announcements, the Greater London Authority and Westminster City Council have been sourcing temporary accommodation in hotels for all rough sleepers in the area, to help protect this at-risk group. Over 3000 rough sleepers in the UK and 1000 in London have been put into single occupancy accommodation to keep them safe as they self-isolate.
St Mungo’s is the commissioned provider for rough sleeping services is Westminster. They are currently staffing the hotels and caring for clients who have been temporarily housed. These clients will have a number of needs during the coming weeks and they need your support.
St Mungo’s has launched an urgent appeal for donations, to support the staff and clients living in the accommodation.
Here are some ways that our members can support rough sleepers and service providers at this difficult time:
- PPE equipment: Face masks, disposable gloves
- Food: UHT milk, cans of food, fruit juices, ready meals. Please note we cannot accept ingredients or food that needs to be cooked.
- Toiletries: Toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrushes, shower gel, shampoo), hand sanitisers (60% alcohol or greater), disinfectant hand soap in dispensers, paper hand towels, feminine hygiene products (sanitary pads, tampons).
- Cleaning: micro-fibre cloths, disposable mops and mop heads, strong black bin bags, disposable aprons, washing up liquid, gloves.
- Clothes (washed or new): trousers, jumpers, t-shirts, shirts, underwear.
- Technology/entertainment (in good condition): phones, tablets, laptops, gaming devices, fiction books. These materials can help our client’s overcome feelings of isolation and ensure they can access additional support.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help with the items above.
- Westminster City Council has set up a system to connect volunteers to those who are in self-isolation or need help. If you are local to Westminster (a resident or employee still working in the area) and want to help, you can sign up or find out more here.
- Crisis need volunteers to help in hotels, which will include handling logistics. Without volunteers this effort will not work. So, please do encourage your members to put the call out for volunteers. Register your interest at email@example.com.