The homeless charity is having to work even harder to get rough sleepers off the streets whilst reducing the spread of the Corona Virus.
Supporting rough sleepers has become even more complicated recently with a lot of the homeless people being more at risk.
An email was sent out to local authorities by Louise Casey, who was recently appointed to lead the government’s response to COVID-19 and homelessness, saying that all rough sleepers should be housed and all hostels and day centres had to close to reduce the spread of the virus.
Jeff Marsh, The Chief Executive of The Foxton Centre, spoke of what the charity is doing to get all rough sleepers off the streets as soon as possible,
“Obviously it’s a big change for everybody, Preston City Council block-booked a hotel and secured some other accommodation to make that available so people could have self-contained rooms and their own bathrooms,
“We closed down our hub and moved people into the hotel, over the weekend our outreach team was out finding other people and moving them into accommodation, we moved 19 people in total.”
The email from the government has meant it has been a frantic time for the charity who have had to work very hard to achieve their goal,
“Hats off to my team, they’ve just knuckled down and done it, not grumbled and they’ve put themselves in the firing line.”
Jeff admits there is still a lot of work to be done to find the right place for all the rough sleepers in Preston,
“I’m really pleased, there are lots of practical issues to work out and I’m sure there will be lots of hiccups along the way but we are moving to a position where there is accommodation available and we just have to match up the support for that now.”
The charity is also looking to the future and a more permanent solution to housing the homeless,
“Its been hard work and I’m not sure the solution will work for everybody but we’ve done that and we will be continuing to contact people because there are still people out there and we will try and find suitable options for them, we hope to move some people on to more suitable accommodation from the hotel but were just finding that at the moment.”
There has been various issues along the way for Jeff and his team but everyone dedicated to helping the homeless has got involved to accommodate the rough sleepers,
“It’s been practical things like there wasn’t catering facilities at the hotel so we’ve had to sort food for everyone, but everybody’s pulling together, various different agencies that are involved, people are chipping in, everything is just moving so fast it’s hard.”
The Foxton Centre still needs support at this time, you can help by donating here.