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Everyone In, or Out?

by Michael Ford last modified 05 Jun, 2020 05:32 PM

Bishop Nicholas has added his name to an open letter calling for the government to extend the ‘Everyone In’ policy in regard to the homeless.

Everyone In, or Out?

Courtesy Garry Knight on Flickr

On 26th March, Homelessness Minister Luke Hall MP issued a directive to local authorities to ‘bring everyone in’ during the ongoing coronavirus crisis. But more recent announcements have failed to confirm that this policy will stay in place as lockdown eases.

Bishop Nicholas is a patron of the Museum of Homelessness that has joined forces with Haringey Migrant Support Centre to co-write a letter which has been signed by more than 60 front line community led groups and charities.

The letter, written to Robert Jenrick MP, outlines concerns with government plans to end the Everyone In policy and highlighting weaknesses in the current strategy to end homelessness.

The Letter calls on the government to ensure that all homeless people will benefit from an extended Everyone In policy, including people with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) who make up a large proportion of the rough sleeping population but who are currently not set to be provided for under the plans.

The letter asks for NRPF rules to be urgently lifted in to ensure that thousands are not forced to return to the streets when the hotels close.

In addition, it calls on the government to urgently clarify what will happen to the large numbers of people who are becoming newly homeless given the ongoing economic impacts of coronavirus.

It also outlines grave concerns regarding winter provision, which is set to be vastly reduced due to public health requirements this year, as church halls and community centres usually used to house the majority of people who are rough sleeping will no longer be an option, due to public health measures.

The charities say that without action now this could be a humanitarian disaster, leaving people sleeping rough at significant risk of exposure during the colder months.

The letter says:

"Homeless members of society need to be able to access secure and safe accommodation during the pandemic, both for their own health and safety and for our wider public safety but this principle should reach far beyond public health measures. It is the principle of a fair society.

"We therefore urge that, if the goal of the government is to end rough sleeping then the Everyone In policy must be extended so that all people experiencing homelessness are able to access safe and secure accommodation for the entirety of the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond."

Bishop Nicholas has had an almost lifelong involvement with homelessness and is also a Patron of the South West homeless charity Alabaré.

Read the letter in full here.

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