Emergency grants enable 34 homelessness services to adapt in response to COVID-19
Blog posted by: Louise Weaver, Monday, 07 September 2020.
Thirty-four homelessness organisations in England have received grants from the second round of our COVID-19 Homelessness Response Fund.
The charities shared £1.439 million, enabling them to adapt and expand their services in response to the pandemic.
The COVID-19 Homelessness Response Fund is an initiative hosted by Homeless Link and supported by National Lottery funding. The National Lottery Community Fund has committed £4.8 million to the fund, providing emergency financial assistance to small and medium sized homelessness organisations to support their response to COVID-19. This funding is part of The National Lottery Community Fund’s wider COVID-19 emergency response for communities.
Homeless Link still has £3.380 million of funding to distribute from The National Lottery Community Fund, and we are encouraging charities based in England that have been financially affected by COVID-19 to apply for a grant before the 14 September deadline.
Here’s how three of the successful grantees are being supported.
Red Supported Living CIC are a Community Interest Company based in County Durham. They aim to help people live independently within the community and maintain their licence agreement with a view to gaining their own long term tenancy. They have been awarded a grant of £33,542 in order to make the necessary adaptations to enable their drop-in service and office to reopen safely.
The organisation said:
“We work in partnership with Durham County Council to provide accommodation and support for vulnerable people, which assists the Council to deliver their overall strategic objectives within their housing and homelessness/rough sleeper strategies. This grant is fantastic news and will enable staff to provide their services within COVID-19 safety measures which is vital for staff and customer safety.”
The Foxton Centre delivers a range of services to people sleeping rough in Preston, including a Homeless Hub with emergency accommodation, casework support, access to health services, assertive outreach and activity work. They also have a well-established social enterprise offering work, education and training opportunities. They have been awarded a grant of £95,050 to cover additional COVID-19 related costs and plug gaps in core funding caused by a drop in fundraised income.
Chief Executive, Jeff Marsh, said:
“At the Preston Centre we have a long history of working with sex workers. During the COVID-19 crisis we have seen increasing numbers of women on the streets and have been able to develop a women’s house to provide accommodation for women who are homeless and alcohol or drug dependent. We are so pleased to have been awarded this funding to help us cover the additional costs of this service.”
Winchester Churches Nightshelter is open 365 days a year and provides accommodation, food and vital support services to help break the cycle of homelessness. As a result of the pandemic they reduced capacity from 17 to 9 residents and are offering expanded 24-hour support to current residents and, temporarily, to 30 additional former residents. They have been awarded a grant of £33,346 to change the rooms to single ensuite bedrooms, removing the risks associated with shared bathroom facilities.
The Nightshelter commented:
“The funding will enable our charity to successfully adapt and evolve in order to survive the pandemic and cope with the uncertain times ahead. It means that we can make changes that will have a lasting positive impact on the lives of people experiencing homelessness. The funding will allow us to continue our wraparound support and longer opening hours to help our residents to make positive steps forward.”
Apply for funding
If your organisation is at risk of closure, service cuts or redundancies due to increased operational costs and a loss of income caused by COVID-19, or needs to expand or adapt services to safely support people experiencing homelessness during the pandemic, please apply for funding. The deadline for applications is 14 September.
On 2 September, we announced the first nine successful grantees from the Comic Relief stream of the Fund, and homelessness charities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland still have an opportunity to apply for grants from this strand, with approximately half of the £680,000 funding not yet distributed.
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