The Wallich response to Covid-19’s affect on people experiencing homelessness

The dangers of sleeping rough have grown with the threat of COVID-19

16 Mar 2020

Hand washing - COVID-19 - Coronavirus - Homeless people in Wales - The Wallich

In light of the increased presence of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), we wanted to discuss how the virus is affecting people sleeping rough and those we support, what The Wallich is doing about it and how the public can help.

Sian Aldridge, Interim Director of Operations for Wales’s leading homelessness and rough sleeping charity, The Wallich, said:

“The dangers of sleeping rough have grown with the threat of COVID-19. As a sector, The Wallich, and other homelessness charities, are acting vigilantly to make sure everyone has equity of access to information about the virus – whether that’s people in hostels or people on the streets.

For those people currently sleeping rough, they may be more disconnected from the news and advice many of us are receiving, our priority is to make sure everyone is safe.

We are only circulating advice and following processes which have been approved by the Welsh Government and Public Health Wales.

We have a responsibility to ensure that the information we provide is appropriate and we will be working in collaboration with a small group, including Welsh Government, Cymorth Cymru and other agencies in the sector, to make sure we are all on the same page.

We are communicating regularly with our staff, volunteers, service users and the wider sector.

Our teams are encouraging the same amount of hand washing amongst people on the streets as everyone else and providing hand sanitizer for those who don’t have access to soap and water.

We would encourage all public washing facilities to make sure every citizen, including those who are homeless, are allowed their right to wash their hands and protect themselves from this virus.

Homelessness can already be a very lonely and isolating experience – this could get worse. People should not be afraid to engage with people sleeping rough, be sensible but compassionate.”

This quote was also published on WalesOnline – ‘These are the steps being taken to protect homeless people from coronavirus’ in March 2019

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