Westminster City Council Helps Rough Sleepers Off The Street
1 June 2020
Since the government’s call to get rough sleepers off the streets due to coronavirus, Westminster’s outreach teams have helped around 250 rough sleepers into emergency accommodation, so they can social distance and self- isolate if necessary.
For the people who have taken up offers of accommodation, there is a huge logistical operation in place every day to keep them safe, fed, stocked with medical supplies and other essentials. Everyone coming into accommodation receives a welcome pack containing essential toiletries, with further items and toiletries being provided as required after that.
People housed in emergency accommodation are receiving three meals a day and dietary requirements are taken into account when allocating meals. Going forward, WCC is working with two of its partner agencies, The Passage and Connection at St Martin’s, who will be donating meals and handling the food supply. Volunteers are also on hand to help through Westminster Connects to ensure meals get delivered.
WCC is providing all of the services it usually offers to help rough sleepers with mental health or addiction issues. Plus, during this crisis, is working with partner agencies, such as Turning Point which is helping anyone who is alcohol or drug-dependent by allowing rapid assessment and prescribing on the day. WCC also has mental health support from the Joint Homelessness Team providing in-reach to hostels and hotels.
WCC has received support from the wider community to help them to feed, provide clothes and medical goods and other essentials to some of the most vulnerable people in Westminster. This includes not only council workers but also the Hidden Network partners, faith organisations, local businesses and volunteers from the Westminster Connects service.
The council is using the current situation as an opportunity to continue to find appropriate support and routes away from the street for as many people as possible for good. You can find out more about what the council does every day of the year to help rough sleepers here. You can also find out more on how to support the local community through our Smarter Giving programme.
Our Street Team’s role is to monitor the welfare of rough sleepers and to liaise with outreach services, which they do day-to-day in the Quarter. If you are concerned about someone sleeping rough please alert StreetLink using their app, or via the StreetLink website.