Wiltshire secures funding to help rough sleepers get vaccinated

A £150k grant has been secured by Wiltshire Council to build on work to help rough sleepers access Covid-19 vaccinations.

The council is collaborating with public health to take vaccines to individuals with a health bus to maximise the take up among this group.

Government funding has already been used to provide self-contained housing to assist with the prevention and spread of Covid-19 in this vulnerable group, and the Council’s Protect initiative means that any verified rough sleeper is made an offer of accommodation.

In this latest allocation Wiltshire will be receiving £150,438 and will be working with partners to consider how to spend the money effectively.

person holding white plastic tube

Cllr Phil Alford, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: ‘We have a committed team who work with the homeless and rough sleepers 365 days a year to provide support and accommodation. We welcome this new funding which will strengthen those efforts to ensure everyone has access to the vaccine and other measures to keep safe against COVID-19.

‘There are a myriad of reasons why people become rough sleepers and our rough sleepers team go out on the streets to work with them to find the best solution and a safe place to stay. We will now discuss with partners how we can most effectively spend this new funding to ensure that work has the greatest positive impact.’

If people see someone on the streets they can contact Streetlink which connects rough sleepers with local services that can support them.

In related news, the London Severe Weather Emergency Protocols (SWEP) have been activated for the first time in 2022 to protect homeless people as temperatures drop below zero.

The activation of SWEP compels councils across London (alongside homelessness charities) to open emergency accommodation for people who are sleeping rough during weather conditions that could pose a threat to life.

Photo by Mufid Majnun


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