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Fears of a winter ‘disaster’ for homeless

Grassroots groups stage a day of action over lack of shelter for rough sleepers in colder months of the coronavirus crisis

09 October, 2020 — By Bronwen Weatherby

Jess and Matt Turtle, of the Museum of Homelessness

A DAY of action has been organised by grassroots groups who are warning of an impending “humanitarian disaster” if more is not done to safeguard rough sleepers during the winter months.

Homelessness organisations have already raised concerns about the lack of shelter provision planned this year, due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Streets Kitchen, The Outside Project and The Museum of Homelessness have teamed up again to stage a demonstration in Trafalgar Square on Saturday – which will be World Homeless Day. They will be handing out sleeping bags from noon to 3pm and collecting donations of new socks, sleeping bags and tents which will be distributed in the colder months.

Jessica Turtle, co–founder of the Museum of Homelessness, said: “We don’t want to do anything unsafe and don’t believe now is the right time to be holding large protests, but we must take action.

“Winter is fast approaching and we are seeing more and more people on the streets. Combine these factors with the second and third waves of Covid and we are deeply worried about a potential humanitarian crisis.”

Organisers say they are carrying out risk assessments and have plans in place to ensure social distancing for the event.

Streets Kitchen co-ordinator Jon Glackin said: “We are staring down the barrel of possibly the worst winter we have ever seen for those experiencing homelessness.”

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