CORONAVIRUS LATEST: Rough sleepers in Southend all accommodated

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All Southend-on-Sea rough sleepers have been provided emergency accommodation in hotels as part of the coordinated approach to tackle coronavirus.

The hard work has been ongoing by Southend Council’s housing and homelessness teams, along with local homeless charities and community support services, and will come into immediate effect.

It comes as the Government said that for the welfare of rough sleepers, volunteers and staff, night shelters and street encampments should be closed.

Cllr Ian Gilbert, leader of the council with a responsibility for housing, said: “Since this started our housing and homelessness teams have been working hard with our partner organisations to address the challenges facing the homeless and rough sleeper community.

“Every known rough sleeper has been offered accommodation and is being supported by the relevant services, such as drug and alcohol, and mental health services. They are also being told to follow Government guidance around social distancing and remain in their accommodation except for the four reasons outlined by Government.

“Like all local authorities we have carried out our duty to accommodate the rough sleepers who are known to our services and currently in our borough and from this evening onwards, any more who arrive with no local connection, will be asked to return to their home town.

“We will continue to liaise with our partner organisations and local charities going forward, to provide the best ongoing support to our homeless and rough sleeper community.”

Anyone suffering from housing issues or the threat of eviction can call our Housing Solutions Team on 01702 215002.

For trusted information about Coronavirus, please visit: www.southend.gov.uk/coronavirus

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]