For many of us, these last few weeks may have been the longest period spent at home in years. We are fortunate enough to have safe spaces to live, work and maintain some type of routine throughout this crisis.
As Minister for Rough Sleeping, I know that for too many, this is not the case. There are those with no place to call home, no place to shelter and stay healthy.
As we enter the next stage of our national effort, taking our first steps towards recovery, we are working flat out alongside homelessness and rough sleeping charities to ensure nobody is left behind.
We have already achieved a phenomenal amount.
Through a dedicated frontline effort, almost 15,000 people have been sheltered under the ‘everyone in’ initiative. We have charities, councils and many other partners to thank unreservedly for helping make this plan a reality.
And in addition to providing people with accommodation we have been providing much needed services too. We have heard stories of people who have not engaged with services for many years getting help in this accommodation, so in the midst of this terrible pandemic there is hope that this could be an opportunity to turn their lives around. Local health partnerships have been working hard to assess the needs of those in accommodation, offering GP registration, drug and alcohol treatment, and mental health services.