Housing and health: Working together to respond to rough sleeping during Covid-19

This report presents the findings of new research into the health needs of people sleeping rough in England and their vulnerability to Covid-19, and the approach taken to address the health and housing needs of this group during the pandemic. The report is also informed by our detailed knowledge as a service provider and by the lived experience of our clients.

Covid-19 has exposed, and in some cases exacerbated existing health inequalities in the UK. People who are homeless have worse health than most, and yet they find it harder to get the healthcare they need. During the pandemic, the Government rightly recognised the significant threat to health posed by sleeping on the street and in communal shelters. Through focusing on getting ‘everyone in’ and providing safe accommodation, many lives were saved. Furthermore, it connected people sleeping rough to the care, support and treatment they desperately need. Everyone In has redefined what can be achieved when there is a singular shared goal of saving lives.

But now, together, we need to build on the successes of Everyone In, and make sure that the principles of joint working become the norm. This is a once in a generation chance to make the changes needed to end rough sleeping.