£22,572 grant will change lives of people experiencing homelessness in Newcastle during COVID-19

A series of grants awarded to Changing Lives by Street Zero’s Emergency Fund, will help provide greater support to people and help them get set up for a new life.

Three grants of a total of £22,572 have been awarded to Changing Lives accommodation services across Newcastle from Street Zero’s Emergency fund. The funds will help support eight Changing Lives projects across the city and will invest in supporting those living in shared accommodation and individual flats, as well as women in recovery who have children.

Changing Lives was one of the three organisations in the North East, who provide vital frontline services in the fight against homelessness, to receive grants from the fund. The other organisations included HomeGroup and Tyne Housing.

The extra funding will allow Changing Lives services to provide personalised self-isolation packs to help every individual on their journey to independence. They could include a microwave, a kettle, a television or tablet, mobile phone top-up, or cleaning products. Everything will be chosen to help people to access services online, remotely engage with the wider world, reduce feelings of loneliness, and create a more homely environment.

Stephen Bell, Chief Executive of Changing Lives, said: ’Changing Lives is currently supporting people experiencing difficulties as a result of the pandemic. We have created the self-isolation packs to help significantly reduce footfall in communal areas thus minimising any potential spread of the virus. Furthermore, this will help people to stay safe and well while isolating themselves for the period required.

‘The support from Street Zero helps us to further provide the highest quality service to people who need our support. Our priority at this time is ensuring people have the tools they need to stay safe and to stay out of hospital, protecting themselves and their community.’

Street Zero’s Emergency fund was a total of £57,000 donated by North East public and regional businesses. Fenwick bolstered the Emergency Fund to be able to provide the large scale grants that will help frontline services make sure those in their care are physically safe and mentally supported with dedicated wellbeing services and activities to help people adapt to life in lockdown

Bob Eldridge, Street Zero Chair, said: ‘Following the outbreak of COVID-19, every person who was rough sleeping in Newcastle was moved by Newcastle City Council into hostel accommodation. We quickly redirected the full Street Zero Emergency Fund to support our partners and the frontline staff in managing the crisis and to offer the right response to people who are now isolating or socially distancing in hostels. Our top priority is to effectively support those who were rough sleeping to retain them in accommodation and help them sustain a life away from the streets. As a city, we have shown that we can end rough sleeping.’

Newcastle City Council, an integral part of the Street Zero partnership, said: ’These grants will make a huge difference in helping to keep people safe, as well as ensuring that some of our most vulnerable residents continue to have access to essential food and supplies during this very challenging time. They will also help people significantly in their efforts to socially distance and prevent the spread of COVID-19, as well as the positive impacts their mental and health and wellbeing.’

For more information on our Housing and Homeless services please see here.

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