Please cascade the following essential information from GMCA into your network. You can signup for future GMHAN updates here.
Yesterday, Government released their ‘Everybody In’ directive. This came with a clear message:
It’s important for the welfare of both homeless people and staff or volunteers that all communal night-shelters and any street encampments are closed down for the time being. These communal settings, as you will be aware, are high risk for spreading coronavirus.
Local Authorities have been pursuing this for the last two weeks. Today we are able to support this by opening hotel provision, as announced by Andy Burnham on Wednesday.
We have developed an Assessment and Screening Form and Local Authorities will be feeding this into a central team to access ‘GM hotel provision.’ The first wave of allocations are for people sleeping rough and people in shared sleeping accommodation.
If you are a commissioned service, your Local Authority will contact you to ask to you complete Assessment and Screening.
There is and may always be more people needing alternative accommodation than can be provided for, making allocation extremely difficult. The only way to manage this is by taking a risk based approach. Starting with rough sleepers and people in shared sleeping accommodation. We are working hard to ensure this is enough alternative accommodation supply so that we can move to other risk levels as fast as possible.
Thank you to those organisations who have been able to re-deploy staff and DBS volunteers towards hotel staffing teams. We urgently need more to be able to use the hotel spaces that we have access to and ensure this is a safe environment that achieves safeguarding vigilance and social distancing as a minimum. Please continue to consider how you could support this, and if you can, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
And another reminder, if you can help source, package, and deliver dry food and essential hygiene items, please send exact details of sources of food and items, packaging locations, and delivery capability to Homelessness@greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk.
Lastly, the situation in central Manchester yesterday was challenging due to instances of looting and gatherings of groups of people who are tired, angry and seem to be newly homeless. Please consider the safety of outreach teams very carefully. Yesterday instances of groups gathering around outreach staff very closely put everyone’s health at risk, and the behaviour of people is volatile at this time. Police are aware and treating this as a public order matter. In light of the announcement of fines yesterday, we are working with GMP to ensure their approach to homeless gatherings is measured and supportive.
Keep safe, take breaks, and thank you.