An update on our situation as we enter a second national lockdown, the themes we’re seeing, and ways you can help.
Over the last few months, as we have seen the coronavirus cases rise across the country, it came as little surprise to see the country enter a second national lockdown. There’s been an increase in the demand for accommodation and for us at HBH, we’re at capacity with a growing waiting list.
The pandemic caused us to restrict the number of people able to seek emergency overnight accommodation on our bus (the 360Winx). In normal circumstances this can sleep 12 people, but the pandemic has meant it is limited to just two – one downstairs and one upstairs.
Over the summer we were able to resume the use of our shower block for those using the bus for overnight accommodation, as well as for rough sleepers who are able to visit the site to get showered and use our other facilities. Due to the new lockdown the shower block is available through a booking system only, and requires a strict Covid safe cleaning protocol. We are fortunate to work with BOSH (Bristol Outreach Services for the Homeless) who help co-ordinate this activity with those in need of these facilities.
As well as the shower block, we can provide use of some of our other facilities including the kitchen and dining areas (again, under strict Covid measures). This allows us to support our residents and ensure they’re well fed, and also provides people using our bus for emergency overnight accommodation, as well as rough sleepers, the chance to have a hot meal and a drink – we see lots of people come to the project for this specific support. For these people what we offer is as a life line.
We’ve seen the number of people using our service for these purposes increase, especially as the government’s ‘Everyone In’ scheme phased out. However, we do note that Bristol City Council has signaled they plan to put forward a winter plan to help our city’s homeless people, so we remain hopeful.
As we also enter the winter months, our service, and help for homeless people, is more important than ever. If you’re able to help there are a number of ways you can get involved. You can see our previous posts and information on our social media about our Christmas shoebox and rucksack appeals – we’re trying to collect as many of these as possible to hand out to people on the street at Christmas time.
We’re always grateful for donations of food to keep our kitchen stocked in order to provide these essential services for our residents and those on the street that depend on us.
And finally, we are also incredibly grateful for any donations that we receive – however big or small – they really do make a difference. One off or monthly donations can made here.
Thank you for your support!