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  • How you can support the homeless right now

    We are all facing a challenging and difficult time right now. The coronavirus outbreak affects each and every single one of us, and we’re slowly having to adjust to our new routines and day-to-day lives shut away in our homes. 

    And yet, as difficult as things might be, we can’t help but ask ourselves – what about the homeless? They face the option of sleeping rough or in crowded shelters. Rough sleepers are more likely to develop respiratory conditions and, with no way to self-isolate or even to wash their hands, how are they meant to stand a chance at protecting themselves against the virus?

    They need our help more than ever – and if there's one thing we've learned so far during this tough and uncertain time, it's that Great Britain is even greater when we come together (you need only look at the truly astonishing number of NHS volunteer sign-ups to see that). 

    Crisis, the national charity for homeless people, is calling on the nation right now to pull together to help the homeless. 

    What is Crisis doing?

    They have been developing new ways to keep services running remotely, so nobody is left behind, isolated or in danger. They’ve been delivering "essentials" packages to people who are homeless, including providing them with mobiles so they can keep in contact and access health advice. They've been calling on governments for support – most importantly, to provide shelter and housing so that people can self-isolate. In Scotland, for example, the government has already helped move vulnerable people from shelters into hotel accommodation.

    But the work doesn't stop there. The heroic teams at Crisis are doing all they can to make sure local councils are supported in their efforts, as well as funding local groups and organisations through their emergency grants fund. Not only that, they're also seeking a longer-term package of support so that people are not sent back out onto the street once the outbreak subsides.

    What can you do to help?

    While volunteering opportunities might not be available with Crisis right now, there are still other ways to get involved and support the charity’s work:  

    • Make a donation, however big or small, to help homeless services stay open.  

    In addition, if you are a local charity that needs financial help responding to the impact of coronavirus on homeless people, you can get in touch with Crisis at bestpractice@crisis.org.uk.  

    For more information, visit the Crisis website.