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My Norwich

Support for rough sleepers

Support during Covid-19

Temporary accommodation and food provision

Support for vulnerable individuals seeking accommodation and food in the city has been continually adapted in response to the coronavirus situation and public health requirements. This has been a collective effort, bringing together public services, a range of organisations, groups and individuals.

If you are concerned about someone you have seen sleeping out, please report the details through Streetlink to help us manage information accurately.

Accommodation

Since the first call from government to house all rough sleepers, Norwich City Council has been continually working to respond to this request - housing well over a hundred people who were sleeping rough, or at risk of doing so, in emergency accommodation.  As is the case all year round, the people we see sleeping out changes from night-to-night, with new arrivals most days. This is why everyone involved works to engage with and find solutions for people on a daily basis.

The accommodation we have been using during this time differs from our usual provision, as it needed to support self-isolation, and has relied on working closely with local businesses and organisations. More than 50 new units have made available for this purpose.

In Norwich, our Pathways team already brings together specialist agencies to make sure anyone sleeping out can access support, and this partnership has been vital as we continue to respond to the pandemic.

While the initial focus was on supporting people into accommodation short-term, Covid-19 has helped to speed up our ambitions to bring an end to rough sleeping in Norwich and we have used money from government to help us continue to develop plans to get the support, services and move-on accommodation in place so that no one has to return to the street.

Cold weather and Covid-19

Rough sleepers face the "double threat" of coronavirus and cold weather this year. Specific steps have been taken to provide Covid-19-safe winter provision, as well as to increase day time provision to give protection both from the elements and the pandemic.  As is always the case, Severe Weather Emergency Provision (SWEP) is activated when necessary.

All councils are following Public Health England’s guidance for services supporting rough sleepers.

Food provision

We are working with partners, community groups and volunteers to coordinate food deliveries to vulnerable groups. This includes those classified as vulnerable by the government because of the coronavirus risks, as well as those individuals in the city centre seeking food or accommodation.

The expert medical guidance on social distancing issued to manage the outbreak has highlighted the importance of best practice around food provision for the most vulnerable in our communities. This is about making sure that we get food to people safely, rather than bringing people to food, and we are working positively with a number of groups involved in providing food in this way.

We are making arrangements for food to be delivered to hostels and other temporary accommodation so that individuals can access this safely. As part of our work to coordinate this approach, we will also be facilitating medicine deliveries from government to those most at risk in temporary accommodation.

Groups that have been providing food in the city centre that can no longer do so under government guidance on gatherings are invited to join our efforts in continuing to support people.

There are a number of ways you can be involved safely; from assisting with food deliveries to donating any excess food.

Volunteer

It is crucial that vulnerable residents are able to get access to essential food and medicines during the outbreak of covid-19 (coronavirus).

Any businesses or organisations that are willing and able to help in this task should complete this form. All support is greatly appreciated in this great time of need.

For individuals, Voluntary Norfolk is coordinating all the offers of time from those healthy enough to help. They will link us with any volunteers after getting you on board.

Set up a neighbour support group

Use our sharing platform, LUMi, for guides and downloadable letters and for further guidance. To let us know what streets you are covering, email community@norwich.gov.uk

Make a donation

Norfolk Community Foundation is taking donations which will then be put into voluntary groups who can redistribute money to vital services for those more vulnerable.

You can also donate small food parcels to your local Foodbank.