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C-19 and Homelessness - Frontline Network Submission to Government

C-19 and Homelessness - Frontline Network Submission to Government

C-19 and Homelessness - Frontline Network Submission to Government

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

The Frontline Network recently submitted written evidence to the Government's inquiry seeking views on the impact of COVID-19 on homelessness.

During the COVID-19 crisis outbreak, we saw an opportunity to do more to help people who have been directly affected by COVID-19, which is why we created the “VRF - Emergency Fund”.

To identify the best ways of supporting people experiencing homelessness at this time, we set up the 'Emergency Fund Survey', to gather feedback from frontline workers on what they were seeing and what was needed.

Our eighteen-question survey confirmed that, so far, there are consistently high levels of need for accommodation where individuals can self-isolate; a high need for food and essentials; and an increasing need for the digital resources necessary to keep in contact with key workers and support networks.

Please find below a summary of our survey’s key findings from 19th March - 30th March 2020, with focus on two areas where the Committee is interested in finding out more:

Key Findings

Overall, frontline workers have stated there are consistently high levels of need for accommodation where individuals can self-isolate; a high need for food and essentials; and an increasing need for the digital resources necessary to keep in contact with key workers and support networks.

Whilst great efforts have been made to accommodate individuals, our feedback confirms that frontline workers are finding it hard to contact the people they support - especially as many do not have access to digital resources.

The concern over contact has been highlighted both in terms of supporting identifying individual’s immediate needs; (i.e. food supplies, sanitisation products and payment of utility bills), to identifying people’s longer-term support needs during self-isolation.

As face-to-face homelessness services remain closed in line with public health guidance, there should be a recognition that great support can be provided through increase access to digital resources.

Without this access, there is a significant concern that individuals will lose direct contact with their key workers and vital support networks.

Thank you for taking part!

Thank you to everyone that participated in our online survey.

At the Frontline Network, we support workers from the public, statutory and voluntary sectors working on the frontline with those experiencing homelessness.

Please join the Frontline Network for free today, if you are not already a member.

 

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