Merton Faith in Action news
Since we last wrote to you in June, we thought you would like to know what’s been happening at Faith in Action’s Wimbledon Homeless Drop-in.
Sadly, we are still not able to provide our normal level of service for homeless and vulnerably-housed people, due to government restrictions. However, we are continuing to provide a tailored, appointment-only service on Wednesdays and Fridays, between 11am and 2pm, for those service users who we are not able to assist over the phone, as well as supporting people who are still rough sleeping. Issues we help with include job searches and training support, accommodation advice and referral, and for EU citizens support with their applications for Settled Status.
If you are aware of anyone who is homeless, or at risk of losing their accommodation e.g. through rent arrears, please do encourage them to call us for an appointment on 07843 280419.
We are fairly strict that people can only come to the Drop-in if they have an appointment, or to pick up mail, and we see an average of about 12 people each day. Everyone who comes into the hall must sanitise their hands, wear a mask (which we can provide if needed) and observe social distancing.
We give people a lunchbox to take away with sandwiches, fruit, water, biscuits etc., and some who are still rough sleeping have been using the showers.
Most of our homeless service users remain in hotel and other temporary accommodation, which means that they have access to showers, laundry and food. However, the initial date for people leaving the accommodation has now passed and the date for them to leave keeps being pushed back. This leaves service users and us nervous, as we try to prepare for people perhaps returning to rough sleeping and people are obviously quite anxious when they don’t have any firm dates or plans to work towards.
We are also planning for an expected increase in other local people becoming homeless due to redundancy, especially when the furlough scheme comes to an end in October. Unemployment is rising, and as the government’s ban on evictions is lifted we are sadly expecting an increase in homelessness.
On a more positive note, many of our service users have reported better health as a result of being more settled, eating and sleeping better and using less drugs and alcohol.
With very best wishes.
Grenville Williams, Chair of Trustees
David Reeves, Communications & Fundraising Lead
Andy Fairbairn, Manager FiA Homeless Drop-in
Faith in Action Merton Homelessness Project