Solidarity is central to the Emmaus way of life and is actively encouraged within all communities. Helping those less fortunate than ourselves, is of particular importance during the current coronavirus pandemic.
Here at Emmaus Colchester, we’ve been helping other members in our community who are rough sleeping, providing sandwiches and hot food to those accessing the emergency accommodation put in place by Colchester Borough Homes (CBH).
The initiative is part of a government led instruction to all local authorities to safeguard those who are rough sleeping and reduce the risk of Covid-19. It’s aimed at getting everyone off the streets and protecting those who are most vulnerable. With regular night patrols, CBH’s Outreach Team is encouraging those who are rough sleeping into accommodation where possible.
During the first weekend of the emergency accommodation being available, and with an estimate of 12 people that CBH knew to be rough sleeping, 34 people have been accommodated to date, which includes those made homeless as a result of hostels and the Night shelter closing.
Chief Executive of Colchester Borough Homes, Gareth Mitchell said: “The situation we find ourselves in as a Colchester community is incredibly challenging, and at times like this we are hugely appreciative of the engagement and support of partners such as Emmaus Colchester. This crisis has demonstrated that by working together we are able to resolve some of the most complex issues our citizens face.
“It is only as a result of partnership working with organisations such as Emmaus, Peabody, Open Door, Beacon House, Open Road and the Night Shelter that this has been possible.”
CBH are working hard to identify those who are rough sleeping in our community, and advise the public to report any rough sleepers using the Street Link app, which directly notifies the Outreach Team of their location, enabling support to be put in place. Find out more about Street Link.