In response to the guidelines issued relating to Covid-19, the Nottingham Night Shelter moved into a hotel on 27th March 2020. During this time, we have had 38 different people spending 1 or more night(s) there. We have been providing 24-hour support for guests to ensure they are able to follow the self-isolation guidelines in their own individual rooms. 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 the current climate is challenging, there have been 11 positive move-ons and we are working closely with the clients still in the hotel. Unfortunately many other agencies, including Embassies, are closed and this has slowed down our progress with clients. 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.
Here we have three positive move-on stories, all of which have taken place during the pandemic, which illustrates the fantastic work our staff are doing, even in the face of adversity. Names and information have been altered to protect identities.
Jozef is a 60 year old Polish male who first started using Emmanuel House services in 2014. At that time he was in full time employment. On 25th July 2019 he registered and came into the Night shelter. Since then he has worked very closely with our Polish speaking support worker and he has been supported to get passport ID and to apply for settled status.
His settled status was granted and he was supported to apply for benefits and to register with Housing Aid for the Nottingham Private Rented Assistance Scheme (NPRAS). The NPRAS assists City residents who are homeless to find good quality private rented accommodation.
During his time with the shelter he has been able to access regular support, including recent medical help for an ongoing health issue. He has accessed basic services and the support of a Polish speaking worker at Emmanuel House.
On the 13th May 2020 he was housed into private rented accommodation.
Danny is a 22 year old white British male who first came to the Night Shelter on 14th June 2019. He was referred to Night Stop and was able to get regular host support through them. Nightstop in Nottingham places young people who have nowhere to stay in trained volunteers’ spare rooms.
Young people receive a private room, a warm meal and somewhere safe to stay. Nightstop in Nottingham is delivered by Open Homes Nottingham – a local charity tackling poverty and exclusion. However, Danny came back into the Nottingham Night Shelter on the 24th April 2020 as hosts were no longer available due to the Covid-19 outbreak. During the time he was with hosts he was still working closely with support staff, receiving help to apply for benefits. On 12th May 2020 he was housed with Hope into Action.
Ella, a 26 year old Eritrean asylum seeker, was referred for the Nottingham Night Shelter on 21st April 2020. Her application for asylum had been refused, but a second application had been lodged. She had been sofa surfing but due to Covid-19 this was no longer a safe option, either for herself or the people she was staying with. Whilst she was in the Shelter, her 2nd application was accepted and she moved to Home Office accommodation on the 12th May 2020. Without the Shelter both Ella, her friends and many others would have been at higher risk to Covid-19.
Whilst we are facing uncertainty and additional strain from the current circumstance, our support and advice for homeless, vulnerable and isolated adults continues to help those in need. This is down to our fantastic support staff and the donations from the local community that help make it possible.
If you have any questions about Emmanuel House’s services during the Coronavirus outbreak, please get in touch.
If you are a business and would like to help with our Coronavirus appeal, please contact Lauren.Howatson@emmanuelhouse.org.uk. For volunteering enquiries, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To donate to our emergency Coronavirus appeal, please visit the website: https://www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/EHCoronavirusAppeal