Evolve Housing + Support is a leading homelessness charity in London, providing housing and support to over 2,000 people each year. Evolve offers support tailored to meet people’s individual needs, including housing, employment and skills training, mentoring and counselling. The organisation has responded to the latest government move to lockdown the UK in hopes of slowing the spread of coronavirus.
Evolve Housing + Support widely welcomes the government’s decision to go into lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus worsening. The organisation believes this important move has the potential to save thousands of lives in the coming weeks as the virus continues to spread through communities.
The organisation is however, calling on the government to provide urgent updated guidance that can be made available for homeless people, so they are best placed to navigate these new changes. Without detailed guidance from the government, people experiencing homelessness will undoubtedly face greater challenges that might significantly worsen their cycle of homelessness, as well as their chances of catching and spreading the virus.
The organisation also welcomes plans from the Mayor of London, Greater London Authority and the National Homelessness Tsar to help homeless people during these unprecedented times and we look forward to working with the agencies and partners implementing them as soon as possible.
However, as of today (24/03/2020), the government has still yet to update its five day old guidance for people who are homeless. Evolve Housing + Support is calling on the government to provide up-to-date information in light of these new lockdown measures to ensure everyone understands what resources are available throughout the developing pandemic.
Evolve Housing + Support is also calling on the government to provide more urgent funding so that it can continue to support its 2000 service users a year, at a time of sustained crisis. Staff shortages, sick pay and the increased needs of its service users continue to strain budgets. The coronavirus also potentially threatens cuts to future funding and public/corporate fundraising due to job losses and huge sectors falling into financial difficulty.
As a charity, Evolve Housing + Support works to constrained budget’s to ensure it provides the most to people who are experiencing homelessness but it needs government financial assistance to manage a crisis of this magnitude.
Evolve Chief Executive Jeremy Gray said:
“We must not forget the most vulnerable people in our society. People experiencing homelessness are both financially and medically vulnerable and we need specifics from the Government on how people without a home can find help as lockdown measures come into effect, starting today.
“Everything is different now and we urgently need Government support and guidance to make sure we can continue to operate and keep homeless people safe during these unprecedented and difficult times.
“We have significant additional staff costs due to our commitment to continue paying all staff full pay if absent due to coronavirus related issues, as well as paying agency staff to backfill their roles. These are unprecedented times and we need the Government to make unprecedented and urgent financial decisions to protect the homelessness and housing sector.”