Our Homeless Drop-in is now open from 10.30am to 2.30pm every Wednesday and Friday. We are quite busy on some days, and the increased opening hours help us to spread individual appointments over a longer time, while being able to offer more of our services to rough sleepers, including showers, laundry, clothes and non-perishable food to take away. We also have a volunteer professional hairdresser coming in on some Wednesdays, who is proving very popular!
While we are not yet offering a cooked hot meal, we are providing a packed lunch and now offer breakfast and soup, all prepared by a small band of our wonderful volunteers!
Despite the removal of government statutory restrictions on 19 July, we are still keeping to our present hours for the time being. This is so we can help as many people as possible while still maintaining social distancing, the wearing of masks and all the other measures we currently have in place. We will also continue to offer lateral flow tests for staff, volunteers and service users.
Our service users
With the government’s hotel accommodation scheme for homeless people now ended, sadly we expect to see more people returning to rough sleeping.
The deadline for EU citizens in the UK to apply for Settled Status ended on 30 June, which led to a huge amount of work right up to the final day. Our staff are still working hard with those with partial settled status but, despite our best endeavours, some service users did not meet the deadline. They will now lose access to medical services and the right to work, and face the prospect of deportation.
The relaxation of government guidance enables us to think about how we will open up more over the coming months. As a first step, we have been in contact with all our volunteers to ascertain how many would like to return, particularly those keen to help with preparing meals, as we would like to restart providing hot lunches as soon as practicable.