The ‘Protect Programme’, the next step in the ongoing targeted support to protect some of the most vulnerable people in our communities from COVID-19, was announced by the Prime Minister on Thursday 5 November. A further £15 million will be provided to support the ongoing efforts to provide accommodation for rough sleepers during the pandemic, and is on top of the previously announced £10 million Cold Weather Fund for all councils to help keep rough sleepers safe this winter.
Areas with high numbers of rough sleepers will receive extra targeted support to provide accommodation for those currently sleeping rough, prioritising those who are clinically vulnerable. This work will continue throughout the winter until March 2021.
This builds on the success of the still ongoing ‘Everyone In’ campaign, which is helping to protect thousands of lives during the pandemic - by September it had supported over 29,000 vulnerable people; with over 10,000 in emergency accommodation and nearly 19,000 moved on into settled accommodation.
This funding is on top of the £91.5 million allocated to 274 councils in September to fund their individual plans for rough sleepers over the coming months. More than 3,300 new long-term homes for rough sleepers across the country have been approved, backed by Government investment of more than £150 million.