North Devon’s rough sleepers are being offered more assistance during the second national coronavirus lockdown.
North Devon Council’s Enhanced Rough Sleeper Outreach Team have joined forces with Barnstaple-based homelessness charity Freedom Community Alliance to undertake daily outreach work speaking with homeless people in the district.
The team are committed where possible to bringing those people who want to come off the streets into accommodation.
For those who prefer to stay on the streets or have not yet been found suitable accommodation, the team are offering shower facilities and a mobile phone charging service, in addition to other bespoke services.
An NDC housing spokesperson said: “Lockdown is tough for everyone but for our rough sleepers it presents additional challenges, which is why we have made the decision to work even harder during lockdown to ensure our rough sleepers are receiving the assistance they need.
“Our Enhanced Rough Sleeper Outreach team, in partnership with our colleagues from Freedom Community Alliance, work tirelessly to find accommodation for those rough sleepers who want to get off the streets - and to make life easier for those who don’t.”
Freedom chief executive Philip Noall added: “Having created the environment to work so closely together with the Enhanced Rough Sleeper Outreach team during the last six months, we feel that we are entering lockdown significantly better placed and experienced this time around.
“We have reconfigured the resources from our day centre team to provide daily outreach and we remain fully committed to support the needs of rough sleepers in every way we can.
“The Freedom Centre continues to provide an essential base from which a truly integrated response can be delivered and we look to build on the successes the partnership has achieved to date.”
North Devon residents who have any concerns about local rough sleepers are asked to report it via www.streetlink.org.uk.
More information about the work of Freedom Community Alliance is available at https://freedomcommunityalliance.org.uk.
If you believe you are at risk of becoming homeless, get in touch with North Devon Council as soon as you can on 01271 388870 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.