The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented pressures across our communities, and none more so than for people with existing vulnerabilities. Yet, the steps taken to accommodate people who were sleeping rough at the time of the COVID-19 outbreak has created a once in a generation opportunity to end rough sleeping for good.
At Changing Lives we support people who are facing a range of challenges, from homelessness to addiction, abuse, exploitation and long-term unemployment. We have long championed the need for everybody to have a safe, secure place to live – and their own front door – and COVID-19 has shown that this is possible when there is the funding and political will to make this happen.
In recent weeks, Government have announced a series of measures to continue to support those that have experienced homelessness during Covid-19. We have continued to advocate for the people we support: last week we provided a policy briefing to Dame Louise Casey, head of the government’s rough sleeping taskforce. Our recommendations were that:
- A focus on dispersed accommodation with community support is needed;
- Social landlords must be a greater part of the solution;
- Specialist support is vital and must start now.
You can download our full policy briefing here: Rough sleeping and COVID-19
We know that with the right support, and the right housing provision, we can help people to change their lives for good. We are pleased to be able to share with you, one young man’s personal story which shows how providing someone with their own front door really can be a “once in a lifetime opportunity”.