WILTSHIRE-based charity, Threshold Housing Link, is pleading with its local authority to ensure the homeless are not dumped back on the streets when the pandemic concludes.
Last month the government asked authorities to begin housing the homeless and provide them with shelter at local hotels in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.
In a statement Threshold Housing Link said:
“The real test of efficiency in local authorities will be to see that all, or at least the vast amount, of those persons in temporary accommodation across the UK do not return to rough sleeping.”
The charity insists this should be easy within its hometown of Swindon given the low numbers of rough sleepers (20) compared to other major towns or cities in the UK.
Threshold Housing Link added, “Swindon also has a very large rough sleeper provision within the local authority, when considered in proportion to the numbers of actual rough sleepers within the town.
“Therefore the scale of the challenge we face locally is even further reduced.”
A spokesman for Swindon Borough Council said:
“We are working extremely hard, along with Threshold Housing Link and other homeless charities to find longer-term solutions for all rough sleepers currently in emergency accommodation because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The challenge is finding housing that people will accept and which comes with the right level of personal support. We are committed to making an accommodation offer to everybody who is currently being housed and has recourse to public funds. Four people have already been offered and accepted new accommodation.
“Rough sleepers are among the most vulnerable people in society and the long term solutions to homelessness are more complex than simply providing people with accommodation.
“Every year we spend around £1.4m on services that help people who are experiencing homelessness. Thanks to the work of the council’s housing team, the number of rough sleepers in the town has reduced significantly in recent years.”