Julian House is calling on property owners who are sitting with empty rooms and even whole buildings to consider allowing homeless and other vulnerable individuals to make use of this accommodation.
Up to now the charity has been able to maintain all of its key services for clients, including its 29 hostel beds, the extra winter accommodation (Safesleep) and all its supported housing projects. So far cases of precautionary self-isolation have been few but it is expected that this will increase significantly over the next few weeks. When this happens there will be almost no capacity to put clients in single occupancy accommodation.
Cecil Weir is the charity’s Fundraising Director – “These are unprecedented times for everyone. Everything has been turned on its head and the new normal is very challenging. Although we all hope that things will get better soon the reality is that it is likely to become more difficult. We are at full stretch at the minute and we can foresee a need for extra single occupancy accommodation for clients with low support needs and others needing precautionary self-isolation. This in turn will free up our other existing supported housing.
One of the consequences of Covid – 19’s arrival is tourism falling off a cliff and empty properties. We are hoping that owners will get in touch and we can come to a suitable arrangement – with Julian House managing any clients who are place there.”
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In addition to extra accommodation Julian House is also asking for financial support from the wider community. The likely impact of the virus is estimated to be over £200,000 on the charity’s income – with cancelled events and the closure of its charity shops.
“It is very hard to credit, that something we hadn’t heard of 10 weeks ago should have such a dramatic impact on all our lives. Ordinarily this soon after Christmas we would not be asking supporters to get their cheque books out and for online banking transfers but our need is significant.
A dedicated appeal has been set up at www.justgiving.com/campaign/JulianHouse-CoronavirusFund
As ever we are indebted to all our supporters for helping us to change the lives of some of the most vulnerable and marginalised members of society. Right now they need our support even more.”