Emergency appeal for help

Thursday, 26 March 2020 - 9:54am

This emergency appeal for help is for the attention of all London based day centres and drop-in centres.

We are currently in the midst of a public health emergency that particularly threatens the most vulnerable, such as people sleeping in night shelters, hostels with shared facilities and people who are rough sleeping. That is why hotel rooms across London are being made available to help people off the streets and into safety.

Day Centres and other services that support rough sleepers such as soup runs, soup kitchens and other drop in services for the homeless are a life line for many in normal circumstances; from providing access to food, clothes and showers, to health care, employment services and access to accommodation. In normal times they offer hope and refuge, and for those with compromised immune systems many offer access to health facilities.

However in the Covid-19 climate they offer the potential to spread the virus to some of the most vulnerable people on the streets due to the close proximity of those attending in often cramped spaces.

With the rise of Covid-19, many centres have already closed but some remain open. It is important that those that are still open shut immediately to stop the spread of this virus to the most vulnerable. It is also important though that staff (and skilled volunteers) are still able to make a vital contribution to saving the lives of those on the streets and are able to direct the most vulnerable to help.

In order to do this, we are making an emergency appeal to all day centre staff and skilled volunteers to sign up to our London Hotels rota, to help provide the support needed to run these hotels, working closely with skilled residential staff. 

Without day centre staff and volunteers coming forward these hotels will not be able to cope with the demand we have, so please do get in contact if you are able to assist with this.

If you are a staff member and want to be part of the London rota please contact fran.hodge@passage.org.uk

If you are a volunteer who would like to be part of the London rota please contact volunteering@crisis.org.uk

This is literally about saving lives. We need to get 600 people off the streets of London by this Friday; we simply can’t do it without your support.

Thank You.

Dame Louise Casey, MHCLG                
Jon Sparkes, Crisis                      
Mick Clarke, The Passage

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Rick Henderson

Rick Henderson

Chief executive

Rick is the CEO of Homeless Link and was appointed to that role in July 2012. He is a member of the government’s National Rough Sleeping Advisory Panel and the London Mayor’s Rough Sleeping Task Group. 

Twitter: @rickviews