By Wendy Faulkner, Ark Manager.
As we head into a second lock-down, I know our supporters will be concerned about the well-being of the town's homeless community and I’m delighted to be able to tell you that once again the council are offering EVERYONE accommodation under the Cold Weather Provision.
There are currently 18 individuals sleeping out, some were moved into hotels yesterday and we will be supporting the “move in” of those remaining on the streets, over the next two days.
Earlier this week volunteers made up welcome/move in packs which consist of: Kettle foods – (porridge pots, pasta pots) a bowl, cutlery, toiletries, lighters, cigarette papers, snacks biscuits etc
Today we will ensure that each individual has a fresh clothing pack, so when they arrive in their accommodation they can shower and put on clean, comfortable clothes.
Our clients are being placed in various hotels across the town (including the Prince Rupert). Our staff and volunteers will be working closely with the council to provide support to them and others who need it in both temporary accomodation and in their own homes. Our focus will be on health, well-being and ensuring they maintain their housing placements.
During the last lockdown we 'stepped down' volunteers, but this time we will be asking those that feel safe to do so to continue working with us both in the day centre and on outreach.
The day centre will remain open by appointment only for support and laundry facilities. We will not be supplying hot/fresh food at the door.
Any new individuals sleeping rough or those who are asked to leave their accommodation, will still have access to our full range of support and day centre facilities.
All our health and well-being services, including the GP clinic and counselling will continue either via outreach or online. We will continue to be there for people in times of crisis.
We hope that you all stay safe and well over the next month and thank you all for your messages or concern and support.