“As the new national measures come into force, I am launching the Protect Programme to ensure councils are offering everyone sleeping rough on our streets today somewhere safe to go – protecting people from the virus and moving forward with our goal of eliminating rough sleeping.”
Councils will be asked to prioritise people who are clinically vulnerable in a new effort set to continue until March 2021.
“Councils will continue to support rough sleepers,” said James Jamieson, Local Government Association chairman and Conservative councillor. “Extra funding to support getting more rough sleepers off the streets is most welcome.”
Jon Sparkes, chief executive of homeless charity Crisis, welcomed the funding but added: “Let’s be clear, this funding for 10 areas of the country isn’t nearly as extensive as what we saw in March, yet the threat from the virus remains the same.
“We also know the money will run out quickly and that council resources will be under pressure to ensure that they can prevent homelessness and support everyone who needs it into safe accommodation.
“We must not leave people exposed to the virus and the streets. With thousands of people having already been supported into more permanent accommodation, we must build on this progress and ensure that everyone helped through this scheme will have a permanent place to call home when this emergency is over.”
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