Basildon Council made contact with all rough sleepers known to the Council and partner St Mungo's last Friday, and has found accommodation for every single person sleeping rough in the borough.

The Leader of Basildon Council Cllr Gavin Callaghan said: "As a sector we effectively ended street homelessness overnight in Basildon.

"The council officers responsible deserve recognition for this, because few people are talking about what a monumental task this is for homelessness teams up and down the country who are working from makeshift home offices on their kitchen tables. 

"During this pandemic our NHS workers, many essential service workers and dedicated Council teams like our homelessness services are saving lives. 

"While some people sleeping rough refused offers and some didn't respond to calls and voicemails, all were contacted and we have accommodation available for them all."

The council's out-of-hours officer responsible for dealing with homelessness services was inundated with calls over the weekend and continued to make placements.

"By this morning our staff had accommodated 16 of the 20 people sleeping rough who are known to us, and we are waiting to hear back from the other four in order to get them into the accommodation we have for them," Cllr Callaghan said.

"I can't understate what a massive achievement and effort this was from the team, and the fact that we are pulling together as a borough to find homes and housing for those that need it during this pandemic is a testament to our Council and community.

"Basildon Council is taking unprecedented action to keep people healthy because our number one goal right now is to save as many people's lives as possible. We need everyone's help and we must all play by the new rules: keep up social distancing and stay home and save lives."

ENDS


Published on Tuesday 31 March 2020