What is happening with regards to rough sleepers in the Warwick District area during these difficult times ?
We can confirm that WDC take this issue very seriously and even more so in light of the current difficulties and as I consequence we can confirm that we have secured accommodation for all rough sleepers.
Since the onset of the Coronavirus emergency, a team from Warwick District Council and their partners in the voluntary sector have been working together to ensure that all rough sleepers are given the option of moving into safe housing.
In the wake of the crisis, the Council’s housing team secured additional furnished self-contained accommodation, which has been used to complement the rooms available at the Council’s Hostel, William Wallsgrove House, which remains open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
Following the lock-down which began on 23 March, volunteers from local agencies including P3, The Salvation Army Way Ahead Project, Helping Hands, Cyrenians and LWS Night Shelter have worked tirelessly to trace and offer accommodation to all those sleeping rough in our district. All but two people are now in secure accommodation and those who have chosen not to be placed are engaging regularly with outreach officers.
Despite the efforts of local support agencies, the Council is aware that a number of very vulnerable individuals, with complex needs and addictions are now finding their way back onto the streets, risking their health and those of others too, by asking directly for money.
Warwick District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing and Property, Cllr Jan Matecki commented;
“I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to all volunteers and agencies who have been on the frontline helping the most vulnerable in our society during this crisis situation. The Council would now like to make an appeal to the public not to offer cash to anyone asking for money on the street. Rather than giving directly please either direct these people to local support groups or donate to ‘Meaningful Change-Royal Leamington Spa’, a local multi-agency campaign made up of a number of charities who are all working together to provide meaningful and long-term support, to help these people to turn their lives around"
Taking the issue even further, in addition to providing secure accommodation for them all, through the local charities and volunteers they are also receiving all the support they need which includes food, medication and telephone support for their needs.
With all these actions now in place there is no need for them to be out other than to exercise.
However, unfortunately some still continue to make their way into our town centres and beg, which is not good for them or indeed the public when we should be socially distancing.
As long as they keep being successful in getting money they will continue to put themselves and others at risk.
Finally if you want to support them you may benefit from taking a look at "Meaningful Change-Royal Leamington Spa" which provides detailed information about just how you can help in a positive and productive way.
For more information please follow the link below
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All blogs are written or edited by Cllr Pam Redford & Cllr Trevor Wright