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VRF - Emergency Fund

VRF - Emergency Fund

VRF - Emergency Fund

Our priority is supporting people experiencing homelessness. In response to COVID-19 we have developed an emergency fund that is designed to offer flexibility in what you apply for as the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds. The fund is informed by feedback from over 900 frontline workers who responded to our Emergency Fund Survey in the first few weeks of the crisis.

To ensure that we continue to adapt as the needs of people experiencing homelesness change over the course of the COVID-19 crisis, we are keeping our survey open and would encourage you to complete it as you see needs shift. We will in turn do our best to ensure that the fund remains useful throughout this time. 

What can I apply for?

The VRF Emergency Fund has three broad categories: Basic Essential Need; Overcoming Barriers to Support; and Securing Accommodation.

We are not prescriptive in what you can apply for under each category, so please choose the category which you think best reflects the need you are asking for a grant for. However, examples of what might be included under each category are:

Basic Essential Need – eg, food, hygiene packs, utility bills

Overcoming Barriers to Support – eg, mobile phone, laptop, tablet, radio

Securing Accommodation – eg, a deposit to access accommodation, a deposit to secure accommodation suitable for self-isolation, rent arrears where there is an imminent risk of eviction

Who can apply?

We only accept applications from paid frontline workers who provide support to people experiencing homelessness. Frontline workers include staff working in the voluntary, statutory and public sectors. For example: Resettlement or Outreach workers, CAB advisers, Supported Housing Officers, Mental Health Workers, Drug and Alcohol Support, GPs, Probation Officers, Social Workers, Prison in-reach workers, Police, Health Professionals.

(Update 6th April: Please note that over the next couple of weeks we will be exploring the possibility of volunteers being able to make applications. If you are a volunteer – please check back here in a couple of weeks for an update, and in the meantime, sign up to our enews to stay up to date with the latest news about resources from the Frontline Network)

How much can I apply for? 

Most of the grants we provide are small one-off grants – the amount is decided based on your current need so please give as much detail as you can on the application form. As a guide, we would usually expect to receive applications for amounts no more than:

£150 for Basic Essential Needs

£400 for Overcoming Barriers to Support

£1000 for Securing Accommodation

However, in exceptional circumstances we will consider more.

How do I apply?

Applicants need to register on our Flexi-Grant system with a valid work email address before making an application.

If you’re already a registered user, log in here.

Who can the payment be made to?

We can make BACS payments to organisations or landlords. In exceptional circumstances we may be able to make a payment direct to the individual.


To reflect the current challenges posed by COVID-19 we understand that it is unlikely you will be able to get consent in writing from your client. Where this is possible, please do, but if you are only able to get verbal consent we have adapted our consent form which can be found here. We are also able to accept electronic signatures. 


We ask that you provide evidence of spend and where possible, also evidence of the outcome of the grant.

You can find examples of the evidence that you will need to provide here.


We are a small team, so before contacting us, please read our FAQ.

● Email: vrf@stmartinscharity.org.uk
● Phone: 020 3795 5746 (voicemail only)



Our Approach

To ensure the Emergency Fund is as effective as possible, we are maintaining a flexible funding approach. As the situation evolves, we want to know what is (and isn't) working for the people you support. 

Help us identify the best ways to support frontline work with people experiencing homelessness during this crisis, by completing our Emergency Fund Survey. 

Complete the survey today!

We would like to know what emerging areas you believe require immediate additional funding to support your work on the frontline. We appreciate how busy you are, so thank you in advance for completing the survey.