Our Covid-19 emergency statement - 20/04/2020
Help Us Help – Covid-19 emergency response
While accommodation is being provided for rough sleepers, street begging is an ongoing issue that puts both the homeless/vulnerable and wider public at risk. In addition COVID-19 poses a particular risk to many of those who use our services who may already have underlying or existing health issues.
Delivering services, like provision of food, in our usual way with people coming to us and gathering together was just not safe. Therefore, charities had to take a very reluctant decision to suspend services which require people to gather in groups.
The agencies and charities are working together even more closely than before sharing our resources and pooling volunteers and have been able to act quickly to provide a COVID 19 emergency response.
Bringing together projects such as Archer Project, Ben’s Centre, St Wilfrid’s, the Wednesday night Soup Kitchen, the Sunday Centre, HARC alongside the City Council and its providers like Framework (rough sleeper out-reach service), the COVID19 multiagency emergency response will provide vulnerable service users with our care and support, but it is being delivered in different ways.
Changing the way, we offer support - However, services have not stopped working.
Please be reassured that charities have been maintaining contact offering telephone welfare checks with those who would previously come and use their service.
Access to food
One of the first priories for the charities was to find ways to ensure service users get good healthy food to individuals who are self-isolating, or in temporary/supported accommodation with limited funds, limited access to cooking facilities or who may be too chaotic to prepare their own food.
The weekly Fare Share donations that were previously delivered to St Wilfrid’s & Bens Centre have provisionally been redirected to Archer Project to support with the interim COVID meals on wheels, currently on offer.
As of 6th April, they have been delivering hot meals to over 90 individuals across three accommodation providers, 7 days a week.
Charities are still working closely with rough sleeper out-reach to engage with a small core group who are still outside on the streets to ensure they are also being fed.
Access to hygiene products / clean clothes
Many people would access services to make use of the shower facilities, washing facilities and to access items such as toiletries & basic sanitary items.
Access to activities
Clients would also use the services to socialise, taking part in activities to develop skills and help relieve boredom.
Many of the vulnerable service users don’t have access to items that might keep them busy, entertained during isolation – so we are offering what we call an enhancement offer asking for items such as
· Old DVD players
· Colouring books
· Board games
· Jigsaws, Puzzles
· Computer games
Donation drop off point is temporarily being operated from Bens Centre, who are open to receive donations from Monday – Friday 11am-1pm.
If you have any of the above please either PM the help us help page, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0114 279 9961 or 0777 189 7086 (all messages will be responded to).
Note: they have introduced social distancing measures outside the project that allow people to drop off donations safely
How can people help
Donations – See Bens Centre
Volunteering - We have volunteers in place until 1st May to prep, cook and deliver cooked meals directly to those who need them, if you are interested in getting involved please email Harc.email@example.com
Advice for people on the streets
Unfortunately, there is still a core group of individuals who are still out on the street, all have been offered accommodation, some have refused the offer and there are others who do already have somewhere to stay but find it difficult to adhere to the new social distancing measures.
We all worry about homeless and very vulnerable people please be assured, people are being fed in our city and this emergency response will be in place until normal times return
Stay safe – stay well
Help Us Help team