Northampton Borough Council is working with Northampton Hope Centre and Churches Together in Northampton to protect rough sleepers during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.
The three organisations have been assisted by housing and support providers, including hotels and members of the town’s Single Homelessness Forum, to identify appropriate accommodation for everyone who is sleeping rough in Northampton or staying in the town’s Nightshelter.
The Nightshelter has been closed for the foreseeable future, due to the close proximity of the guests. It will be deep-cleaned ready for use once the emergency has passed.
Throughout the Covid-19 emergency, rough sleepers will be provided with somewhere safe to stay, appropriate help and support and, if needed, somewhere to self-isolate. To encourage people to stay indoors and help them to maintain a healthy diet, Northampton Hope Centre will be providing everyone assisted under the scheme with food and refreshments, seven days a week.
Cllr Stephen Hibbert, Council Cabinet member for Housing and Wellbeing, said: “Finding the right solution has been paramount and this has been achieved through a huge effort from everyone involved and we are especially grateful to the Hope Centre and the local faith groups for their help.
“Members of the public who are concerned about someone they have seen sleeping rough can help them connect with local services by contacting our Street Outreach Team or sending an alert via the Street Link website.
“Our team is already working with dozens of rough sleepers to get them into safe accommodation during this national crisis.”
Robin Burgess, Chief Executive of Northampton Hope Centre, said: “Hope is really pleased to be working in partnership with the Council to enable rough sleepers to go somewhere safe. We will continue to support rough sleepers as they stay off the street whilst the crisis persists.”
Father Oliver Coss, Co-Moderator of Churches Together in Northampton, said: “Churches and faith leaders in Northampton will greet this news, and the government’s national policy that people who are homeless are to be given accommodation during this crisis, with a sense of gratitude and relief.
“It will allow us to focus our efforts on supporting the vulnerable and isolated in confidence that a route off the streets exists for all.”