Since the Government’s ‘everyone in’ initiative in response to COVID-19, partners in Oxfordshire Homeless Movement have worked tirelessly to keep people off the streets. Oxford City Council and partners have now helped more than 250 former rough sleepers into settled housing since the outbreak of the pandemic.
As temporary accommodation at Canterbury House had to be handed back, five people with no recourse to public funds were at risk of returning to rough sleeping. Thanks to a rapid response from University College and other partners in Oxfordshire Homeless Movement, these people are now safely housed.
Oxford had the chance to showcase the innovative support provided for people experiencing homelessness in the city with a visit from HRH The Earl of Wessex. Partners from Oxfordshire Homeless Movement greeted The Earl and shared how local organisations had adapted their work in response to the pandemic.
The project will help people experiencing homelessness who are not eligible for any public funds due to their immigration status – which effectively leaves them destitute. Oxfordshire Homeless Movement is raising funds to support these people to lead productive lives in Oxfordshire.
All of Oxfordshire’s councils have agreed to work towards a housing-led approach to preventing and ending homelessness, following the publication of a crucial feasibility study by Crisis. The study brought in significant contributions from partners in Oxfordshire Homeless Movement, of which OCF is a founding member.
Thanks to the generosity of the community, Oxfordshire Homeless Movement (OHM) was able to raise funds that will now be used to help those at the sharp end of homelessness. OCF hosts OHM’s project management and fundraising.
Oxfordshire Homeless Movement (OHM) is appealing to local residents, visitors and workers to help them ensure no-one has to sleep rough in our county in 2021 and beyond.
OCF hosted a webinar this week, focusing on the opportunities to tackle homelessness, following the national ‘everyone in’ policy at the start of lockdown. The webinar, timed in the week of World Homeless Day, also looked at how the partners in Oxfordshire Homeless Movement are responding locally.
Oxford City Council has secured 124 rooms of interim housing for the next year, meaning that there need be no return to the streets for former rough sleepers currently housed in hotels and student blocks.
Two projects, supported by funds raised through Oxford Homeless Movement, are aiming to help homeless and vulnerably housed people transition successfully from emergency Covid-19 accommodation to an independent life in their own self-supported housing.