How is the Night Shelter working in the hotel?
We are currently facilitating the isolation of 40 guests in individual rooms. We are providing support 24 hours a day to ensure guests are able to follow the self-isolation guidelines. The hotel is being staffed by Night Shelter and Emmanuel House staff for 24 hours a day, with shifts split into morning, afternoon and overnight. Whilst move-on options are temporally limited, we are all working together to ensure guests have support in accessing their benefits and are able to continue taking the necessary steps towards securing long-term accommodation when the situation permits.
Day-to-day running of the shelter includes carrying out wellbeing checks on guests in their rooms, providing food and hot drinks, facilitating guests with benefit queries, helping them to apply for Universal Credit and linking up with other support services. We are also offering practical advice about what local chemists are still open near the hotel so prescriptions can be transferred there. We have been liaising with other services such as Framework to ensure the guests have still been able to contact there workers for support and when we go round with hot drinks we are providing to toiletries, underwear and clothing.
Guests are provided with three meals a day, which are being provided by the hotel catering staff and funded by Night Shelter funds. Meals are taken to the doors and then collected by guests contactlessly. The homeless health team are visiting the hotel on a daily basis to provide usual health support, alongside dealing with any health concerns related to Coronavirus. We are currently trying to reassure people that we are there for them. There is a great concern over access to support, healthcare and benefits, as well as making sure people have somewhere to be safe.