- Councils warn of an increase in homelessness from current 320,000 as a result of Covid-19 -
- However charities project a 48% decline in their voluntary income due to pandemic -
- Homeless charities have urgent need for extra accommodation, staff, PPE equipment and essentials -
Morrisons Foundation has set aside a £500,000 fund over the next three months to help charities offer additional protection, services and support to the homeless as a result of Covid-19.
There are currently 320,00 homeless people in Briton and experts are warning more must be done to support the homeless and to avoid a spike in homelessness resulting from the pandemic’s economic impact.
The emergency funds are being provided as homeless people and charities face a crunch because:
- There has been a 48% decline in voluntary income to charities since the onset of Covid-19
- Many hotels have been forced to close, leaving some without accomodation
- Some charities have seen a 20% reduction in staff due to self isolation and sickness
- Charities have had to urgently source PPE equipment, food and everyday essentials
Charities will be able to apply for emergency funding to pay for these costs.
David Potts, Chief Executive of Morrisons, said: “Morrisons is committed to helping the most vulnerable in our society. We know that the coronavirus outbreak presents a particular risk to the homeless and we want to do our bit to help. This new fund will help charities doing vital work to care for the homeless at this critical time.”
Nick Connolly, Managing Director of End Youth Homelessness, said: "Our member charities need cash to pay for staff, personal protective equipment, food and other essentials to a level they could not have possibly have envisaged a few months ago. We are so pleased this is being recognised."
Charities will be able to apply for financial help with:
- Outreach and support for rough sleepers - including the supply of food and healthcare essentials
- Delivery of services in hostels and shelters - including the payment of additional staff, purchase of PPE equipment and provision of emergency accommodation
- Information and advice - including the provision of health and wellbeing services and helplines
Rough sleepers are particularly vulnerable to Covid-19 as they are more likely to have underlying health conditions and are less able to access basic sanitation.
Charities can apply online for grants of up to £10,000 at www.morrisonsfoundation.com and successful applications will be fast tracked for payment.