To: Robert Jenrick, housing secretary
The government is leaving homeless people on the streets during the second wave of coronavirus – at a time when a more transmissible strain of the virus is spreading throughout the country.
During the first wave, the ‘Everyone In’ scheme brought around 15,000 rough sleepers into emergency accommodation, allowing them to self-isolate as needed.
Now homelessness charities are highlighting the need to re-start the scheme for the third lockdown in England. Shadow housing secretary Thangam Debbonaire said that “the public health situation is extremely serious, with those sleeping rough at higher risk than almost any other group”.
Doctors have warned that Covid-19 and the winter weather create a deadly ‘double threat’. And the end of the evictions ban could see another rise in homelessness at the worst possible time.
We need emergency accommodation now to bring homeless people indoors and keep them safe.
Homeless people need to be brought into safe accommodation even more urgently than before, as the cold weather doubles the risks they are exposed to. The ‘Everyone In’ scheme solved the problems of many homeless people long term, as they were given help by the people who took them in, many found jobs and housing and are no longer homeless. Therefore the government will save money in the long term as well as saving lives if they restart this scheme. I am sure the hotels that took part will be happy to take part again as they gained from the experience as well as gaining financially, enabling them to keep their business going. Everyone wins in the long run as well as saving lives and helping the homeless in the short term.Rosie, Kent
A civilised society is one that looks after it’s poor and vulnerable. We are rapidly becoming an uncivilised society.Ingrid, Northumberland
I don’t think there should be anyone left homeless, but especially not during a pandemic!Christine, Manchester
This is England in 2020, not 1820.Michael, Devon
It appalls me that our government is so ready to let kids go hungry and homeless on the streets when they spend huge money on useless private contracts and refuse to tax the very wealthy a bit more.Angela, North London
The growth in homelessness in such a rich country as ours has been a major scandal. The coronavirus crisis makes it worse. If we were able to do something in the spring and summer, we must do more in a cold, wet autumn and winter.Colin, Oxford