The impact of Coronavirus at HBH

Words: Amy on April 8, 2020

An update on how Coronavirus is impacting us, and how you can help..

As you may know from our previous update, the Spring Street project went on partial lock down (no visitors, site closed) before the government advice, and we then took further measures which has meant communal facilities at the project are closed too. Our residents are able to ‘stay at home’ within their individual micro flats. We’re able to continue to receive some food donations, safely delivered, to support our residents so they do not have to go to the shops however, some of our previous suppliers have also closed down for now.

We’ve appealed on our social media for ready prepared meals for 15 people, which we have had some response to but are in need of more. We’ve also had to apply for emergency funding to be able to purchase consumables such as milk and bread, as now that our residents are all isolating, they are using more of these naturally, and they are not able to go out to buy their own. We want to protect them as much as we can since they are all in the vulnerable category so this is ‘shielding’ measures. We are also seeing a greater use of utilities (as they are all ‘home’ 24 hours a day) so we are also looking at ways to apply for support for this, hopefully from the government.

We are still getting referrals from both the probation service and veteran support groups which has enabled us to safely admit one new resident. We are also looking into being able to admit a further resident which would bring us to 16 residents at the project, as one resident is due to move on today (which was previously arranged prior to the crisis in collaboration with Spring of Hope).

We’ve all been aware that the government’s directive to put those on the streets into hotel type accommodation is due to be taking place. We’ve been contacted to request experienced volunteers to help provide those in this type of accommodation with the support they need – ‘hotel assistants’.  Although we were not able to provide them with the kind of volunteer they specifically requested, we were later informed that ‘Caring in Bristol’ have this all under control and are ‘sorted’.

We did suggest contacting the Army and Navy reserves to assist. We understand that so far, Bristol City Council have joined up with the YMCA and a hotel to facilitate this but we saw last night on the local news that there are still people on the streets wanting outreach support. Despite being advised to close, we know that at least one outreach group is still operational.  Today we have been contacted by the manager of the Double Tree Hilton in Bradley Stoke offering hotel rooms and we have signposted them to so we hope that this might prove helpful.

We are still being contacted by members of the public enquiring about helping people they have either seen on the streets or know of in tents etc around south Bristol. We are signposting them to Streetlink, as we understand they are still operational.  We have also been signposting to the homeless advice team as mentioned above where appropriate, and St Mungos too. Anyone contacting us offering to volunteer we have signposted to the council’s ‘Cheers Drive’ initiative.

This is a brief summary of what we know with regards to south Bristol, and what the impact has been so far on our own project.

Think you can help?

We’re in need of meals, ready made and portioned into 15 – one for each of our residents. Our residents need support now more than ever. We can arrange safe and distanced handovers of food at the site – if you can help please get in touch via social media or by email.

If you’re able to make a donation, however big or small it will make a huge difference, and go towards paying our residents’ increased utility bills. You can donate here.

As always, we’re so grateful for your support – thank you!

Together we can make a difference.

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