In the Chancellor’s £30bn package to combat the coronavirus, there does not appear to be any provision to protect homeless people who are not able to self isolate and don’t have access to facilities to wash their hands properly. The London homelessness charity, Rhythms of Life, have daily contact with 100 or more homeless people through their food distribution services. Concerned for the well-being of both their homeless friends and their volunteers, the asked Public Health England for specific guidelines for dealing with the virus. As yet, they have had no reply. It seems that a policy is being prepared and will be released as and when.
Charity founder, Andrew Faris, himself a former rough sleeper, tells us that “supplies of hand sanitizers and tissues are becoming very difficult to get hold of. In shops and public places, the hand wash dispensers are being ripped off the walls, leaving homeless people with nowhere to wash their hands.”
Andrew goes on to say, “there needs to be rapid action to provide basic hygiene facilities and safe refuge for our homeless friends before we have a lot of avoidable deaths on our hands. I can only pray that the Government will set aside a portion of their £30bn budget to tackle this urgent problem.”