Homelessness charities facing ‘desperate’ lack of funding, council warned
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Homelessness charities face a “desperate” funding situation due to the coronavirus lockdown, it has been warned.
Opportunites for charities to raise cash have been limited due to the effects of the pandemic, a South Norfolk councillor has warned.
It came as the council voted to temporarily change its housing policies so people in temporary accommodation could be fast-tracked into permanent housing.
At a meeting of South Norfolk council’s cabinet held on Monday, June 15, council leader John Fuller said there had been a “material increase” in the number of people being supported.
He said: “Three months in we’ve got 60-70 people we are looking after. It’s a material increase.”
And he said the council wanted “people who have been taken into our care to reintegrate and take their right place in society.”
Yvonne Bendle, cabinet member for health, housing and wellbeing, said: “We don’t have a lot of people who sleep rough but we do have sofa surfers and people who sleep in cars or stay with friends and family. With Covid-19 that has had to stop and we had people we weren’t totally aware of.
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“The aim of this is to try and help them with temporary accommodation. Some will need a lot of support so they will need to go into the voluntary sector.”
And Richard Dunshire, housing manager, said a lot of the council’s accommodation was being used.
He added: “We need to move people on so we can use it. There are people who come in and out of our services. This is a good opportunity for people to come in and really prosper in the future.”
But Liberal Democrat councillor Vivienne Clifford-Jackson said she was concerned about “great stresses” on the charity sector.
“My concern is I’ve been doing support online [and] one of the things is the great stresses on the voluntary sector,” she said.
“The usual fundraising opportunities have been stopped this year and it’s really getting rather desperate. We should bear that in mind going forward.”
And Kay Mason-Billig, vice-chairman of the council said more support for the homeless could be “one of the positives that comes out of this terrible crisis”.
While Alison Thomas, cabinet member for finance said more support was “a great outcome from a difficult situation”.
And the council leader said he was chairing a meeting with Dame Louise Casey, government homelessness advisor, this week.