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Extra help for city’s rough sleepers during pandemic

Published on Monday, March 30, 2020

generic Leicester housing

The city council is providing almost 100 additional forms of accommodation to ensure that no-one has to sleep rough in Leicester, as it copes with an unprecedented demand for its services.

These include almost 70 self-contained private flats located in different parts of the city.  All of the properties are furnished and, with the support of partners, the council will be providing weekly food parcels, fuel vouchers and other essential items to each one.

Some of the residents at the city council’s Dawn Centre hostel have moved into a number of the properties, freeing-up 35 self-contained rooms at the Dawn Centre for emergencies.

Ten properties have been reserved for homeless people who show symptoms of coronavirus.

The council is also using bed and breakfast places – 18 as of today - to accommodate people who have been referred by the police as rough sleeping.

The dormitory-style emergency beds previously used at the Dawn Centre are no longer operating, and the council has been able to find new accommodation for people previously using the Winter Night Shelter run by the One Roof charity.

The council’s city catering staff are preparing hot food in a local school kitchen which is being delivered to the Dawn Centre every day. This means residents of the Dawn Centre no longer have to gather in the communal dining room to prepare food.

Assistant city mayor for housing Cllr Elly Cutkelvin said: “Council officers have pulled out all the stops to get these properties up and running and to ensure the health and safety of those using the Dawn Centre and other shelters in the city.

“There is no need for anyone to sleep rough in Leicester, but we ask that people contact us in daytime hours so that we can assess their situation and have the time to make sure they get the support they need.”

Anyone who has been made homeless or is rough sleeping is asked to call the city council on 0116 454 1008 during working hours from Monday to Friday. This will enable a homeless prevention officer to properly assess their needs.

In an emergency situation only - at weekends and out of hours - people can call the Dawn Centre on 0116 2212770.