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Reader's letter: Support for the homeless

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Because covid-19 could make more people and families potentially homeless for the first time in their lives, I am compelled to speak out regarding rough sleepers.

It is our sense of duty to stand up and be counted.

Rough sleepers are vulnerable to coronavirus as they are more likely to have underlying health conditions and face difficulties in following public health advice on self-isolation, social distancing and hygiene.

They can also face barriers in accessing public health information and healthcare.

Shared facilities used by rough sleepers, such as day centres, hostels and night shelters, increase the risk of transmission.

There are people out there who are anxious about their future, and also their physical and mental well-being.

People could also become intentionally homeless for the first time.

When Newark and Sherwood District Council offices are closed you can still contact them on 01636 650000, which has an out-of-hours homeless team emergency number.

Private renters were already ill-equipped to weather the storm of a global pandemic, with 75% of private renting families with children already having no savings. It’s no surprise, therefore, that since covid hit, 322,000 renters have fallen into arrears.

According to the charity Shelter, four out of every ten renters are now claiming some form of housing support.

You can ask any council for help accessing support if you are homeless now or facing homelessness within eight weeks. ­— LAURENCE GOFF, Newark and Sherwood district councillor.

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