The government must continue to prioritise rough sleeping services, matching the enhanced investment made during COVID-19, Oasis Community Housing’s Chief Executive, David Smith, has written in recent letters to MPs.
The plea comes as restrictions ease in order to prevent a ‘cliff edge’ of homelessness provision, and to ensure charities and agencies are ready to respond to the needs of those becoming newly homeless as a result of the pandemic.
Writing to Members of Parliament in constituencies in the North East of England, where the Oasis Community Housing supports people and vulnerable families facing homelessness, the charity’s Chief Executive explained:
“The last 18 months has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment and drive across central government, local government, and the voluntary and community sector – as they worked together to support those both currently, and at risk of, rough sleeping.
“… The decisions made throughout the pandemic and the funding made available to deliver on this has saved lives and has supported tens of thousands of people into secure accommodation.”
The government’s ‘Everyone In’ initiative helped not only safeguard the health and well-being of people at risk of homelessness during the pandemic – moving 37,000 people into temporary accommodation – but also demonstrated that, with the right level of focus and investment, progress can be made in tackling rough sleeping.
The current government have pledged to prevent and end rough sleeping by 2024.
In the letters, David Smith explains:
“As we start to emerge from the crisis mode of the pandemic the Spending Review is a vital opportunity to ensure that we build on the successes and provide the needed funding to prevent and end homelessness for good.”
Oasis Community Housing has written to MPs as part of Homeless Link’s campaign #EveryoneInForGood. Homeless Link is the membership body for homelessness charities and agencies across the UK.
Read more about our response during the pandemic and the recent opening of our emergency accommodation, The 58:7 Project.