“Working together we have helped save lives and achieved so much – but we must build on these successes”

Six months on since the Government issued its ‘Everyone In’ instruction St Mungo’s urges it to seize the opportunity to build on achievements

Six months on since lockdown St Mungo’s has praised all those who worked together to make the ‘Everyone In’ scheme a success, and is urging the Government to use it as the catalyst to ending rough sleeping for good.

On the evening of 23 March the Prime Minister placed the country in lockdown and just three days later the then Homelessness Minister Luke Hall MP wrote to all local authorities issuing the ‘Everyone In’ decree.

Since that time St Mungo’s has:

    • Managed 27 hotels across London, the South East and the South West;
    • Helped almost 3,000 people who were rough sleeping or in communal night shelters to isolate safely in to empty hotels or other emergency accommodation through the ‘Everyone In’ initiative; and
  • Supported, more than 1,000 people make positive moves into longer-term housing.

St Mungo’s Chief Executive Steve Douglas CBE said: “St Mungo’s, along with many homelessness organisations, has spent the past few months working with local authorities and other partners, ensuring that thousands of vulnerable people who were homeless on our streets were protected during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The ‘Everyone In’ programme, has been successful. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), regional and local authorities, housing associations and all involved – including our dedicated teams here at St Mungo’s – should be praised for their outstanding and unprecedented joint efforts, which undoubtedly saved many lives.

“During this time our teams, like others across the country, have been there providing the support they need and helping people to make the next step to suitable longer term accommodation,” said Mr Douglas

As the six month anniversary approaches the focus of the Government and all those working in the sector is shifting more from the emergency response to the next phase.

Last week the MHCLG released details of how the first phase of its Next Steps Accommodation funding will be allocated with further details of how the next £161m tranche will be released expected in the coming weeks.

He continued: “There is now, I think, a once in a generation opportunity to ensure that what we have learnt through the pandemic is not lost but informs and shapes the sector’s thinking on the next steps and longer term solutions for those who need help.”

Referencing the fact that since 2008, nearly £1bn has been cut from what councils spend on homelessness services every year he continued: “This funding hasn’t been replaced by the coronavirus response. And without a significant increase in investment, these vital services will not be able to cope with demand, and the Government is unlikely to keep its commitment to end rough sleeping by 2024.”

He continued: “I am also keen to see the excellent work started by Dame Louise Casey, and the Homelessness Taskforce continue.

“Government made a manifesto commitment to end rough sleeping, and we need this review to happen as soon as possible, so we can build on the important lessons, that we have learnt through working together.

“It would be a tragedy to let the progress we have made since March be wasted,” said Mr Douglas.

To mark the extraordinary achievements from the past six months, this week St Mungo’s will be highlighting some of the life-changing work done using #WhenWeWorkTogether via its social media accounts.