Going into lockdown and social distancing has presented challenges for those helping the city’s rough sleepers.Advertisement
With Boris Johnson urging the country to ‘stay at home’ from Monday evening last week, what did that mean for the homeless in Preston?
Ahead of the Big PNE Sleep In – urging Prestonians to show their solidarity with the city’s homeless – and raise money for The Foxton Centre we found out from the Foxton about how the last week has been.
On Thursday (26 March) the Foxton was told by the government it must close, along with all other homeless hostels and day centres with shared facilities.
Preston City Council, along with other local authorities, were given emergency funding to secure alternative accommodation for rough sleepers.
Chief executive of the Foxton Jeff Marsh said: “The instruction was that by the weekend all people where to come in from the streets
“As a result the Foxton Centre Team had to close the Homeless Hub.”
Seven residents of the homeless hub were moved to a hotel and a further 12 rough sleepers were brought in.
Food and new clothes were suppled for those at the new hotel, along with prescriptions and treatment for those battling drug and alcohol use.
Jeff said: “We hope to move about eight people from the hotel into self contained accommodation this week
“We continue our outreach work around the city dealing with the remaining rough sleepers.”
One of the major areas for the charity at the moment is delivering food and hygiene parcels to vulnerable tenants in the Housing First scheme with 60 people housed in total.
Jeff said: “Our team will continue to support these people in their homes many of whom will have to self isolate for 12 weeks due to underlying health conditions
“The situation is very fast moving but we have a positive staff team who have adapted to new ways of working very quickly.”
Blog Preston is helping organise the Big PNE Sleep In on Friday 10 April, from 7pm, urging everyone in Preston to grab their sleeping bags and snap a selfie of them doing the #pnesleepin and make a small donation to The Foxton at this time through their website. You can show you’re taking part by signing up on the Facebook event here.